New influenza vaccine trial to begin in Moreton Bay

Published 10:00am 5 May 2022

New influenza vaccine trial to begin in Moreton Bay
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) will begin a clinical trial of a potential new influenza vaccine ahead of the winter season.

The trial will be held at USC’s Moreton Bay Centre at Morayfield and will involved 45 volunteers aged between 18-49.

The vaccine has been developed by US-based company Codagenix using cell-based technology with the aim of preventing seasonal influenza and addressing the limitations of existing vaccines.

In this trial, the new vaccine will be compared to an existing TGA-approved influenza vaccine.

Principal investigator Dr Nischal Sahai said influenza vaccines had traditionally been developed using strains grown in chicken eggs – a process that recent research has shown can sometimes lead to less-effective vaccines.

“This new technology, however, utilises a live attenuated virus, which means key proteins within it may be more likely to retain their effectiveness against circulating and emerging influenza strains when compared to traditional vaccines, thereby providing a stronger immune response,” he said.

USC Clinical Trials Director Lucas Litewka said the renewed focus on developing new and improved vaccines had brought about exciting opportunities in recent years, with this collaboration between USC with Codagenix another great example.

Who can apply

Lucas says all volunteers who take part in the study must be in good health and must not have received an influenza vaccine in the past six months.

“Volunteers will be assessed over the phone and at a screening visit to determine eligibility,” he said.

“Eligible participants will then be given one vaccination and reviewed in the clinic over seven visits within seven months.

“After a specified period, all participants can choose to receive a TGA-approved flu vaccine from their usual vaccination provider.”

For more information or to register interest in the study, go to www.usc.edu.au/trials

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