US-based, clinical-stage vaccine company Novavax has presented data for the company’s nanoparticle programme at the New Approaches to Vaccines for Human and Veterinary Tropical Diseases Keystone Symposia in Cape Town, South Africa.
The data revealed in the presentation exhibits Novavax’ progress in developing seasonal influenza nanoparticles that acts as a protective agent in a ferret influenza challenge model when it is combined with the company’s proprietary adjuvant, Matrix-M.
The vaccine candidate is based on a hemagglutinin nanoparticle, as well as elicited broadly neutralising antibodies to all three types of influenza viruses that include A(H3N2), A(H1N1), and B.
Novavax research and development president Gregory Glenn said: "Our seasonal influenza nanoparticle approach builds on the advances achieved with our respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) nanoparticle.
"Our breakthrough in RSV vaccine development leverages conserved sites within the F protein to provide protection from contemporary and historical strains of RSV.
"We have replicated that approach in developing our seasonal influenza nanoparticle. Novavax pioneered the use of palivizumab-competing antibodies as a metric for an effective immune response to RSV and we have developed a similar, influenza-specific, broadly neutralising monoclonal antibody competition assay to test responses to our new influenza vaccine.
"Our seasonal influenza nanoparticle antigens elicit antibodies that neutralise the influenza virus at nanomolar concentrations and interact with epitopes that lead to traditional hemagglutination-inhibition, as well as other protective epitopes.
"The capacity of these antibodies to neutralise across drifted influenza A and B strains and the two B strain lineages suggest our seasonal influenza nanoparticles may offer improved protection and address the frequent mismatch of vaccine versus circulating strains.
"We also demonstrated that we can combine the RSV F and influenza nanoparticle vaccines, bringing together a vaccine approach that induces broadly neutralising antibodies against both influenza and RSV."
The development of nanoparticle vaccines involves several advantages such as the influenza nanoparticles engineered to demonstrate conserved antigenic regions, which elicit broadly neutralising antibodies.
Additional advantages include enhanced manufacturing yields and use of Matrix M adjuvant, which are well-tolerated and highly effective at stimulating enhanced immunity.