NIH trial underway for universal flu vaccine

The National Institutes of Health Clinical Center has begun a phase I trial of a potential universal influenza vaccine, according to an announcement by the agency.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recently began enrolling 100 adults (aged 18 to 55 years) for the single-site trial. Volunteers will be randomly assigned (1:1:1) to receive two doses of placebo or vaccine spaced 28 days apart. Group A will receive BPL-1357 intramuscularly along with intranasal saline placebo. Group B will receive doses of the candidate vaccine intranasally along with intramuscular placebo. Group C will receive intramuscularly and intranasally delivered placebo at both visits.

BPL-1357 is a whole-virus vaccine consisting of four strains of noninfectious, chemically inactivated, low-pathogenicity avian flu virus. Volunteers will return to the clinic seven times to provide blood and nasal mucosal samples to detect and characterize immune responses.

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