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Home Industry News Universal flu vaccine designed by researchers

Universal flu vaccine designed by researchers

3rd October 2016

A new generation of universal vaccines against influenza has been developed by the universities of Lancaster, Aston and Complutense in Madrid.

Groundbreaking computational techniques have been used to design the vaccine, which could offer protection for up to 88 percent of known flu strains worldwide in a single shot, thereby preventing winter flu seasons and heading off future global pandemics.

Two universal vaccines have been created through this approach: a US-specific vaccine with coverage against 95 percent of known influenza strains in the region, plus the broader-use global vaccine with 88 percent worldwide coverage.

Annual flu epidemics are currently estimated to cause up to half a million deaths globally, a trend that could be prevented by these new vaccines.

The international team is now actively seeking partners in the pharmaceutical industry to synthesise the vaccine for a laboratory proof-of-principle test.

Dr Derek Gatherer of Lancaster University said: "Based on our knowledge of the flu virus and the human immune system, we can use computers to design the components of a vaccine that gives much broader and longer-lasting protection."

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