Biopharmaceutical AmVac has announced that the E.U. approved two grant applications under the seventh framework program (FP7) for the development of vaccines against flu and leishmaniasis. The projects are joint initiatives of AmVac, other European companies and research institutes with expertise in vaccine design and development. Total funding for all participating partners is approximately $7.8 million and $7.2 million, respectively, over five years. Within the funding periods, both vaccines are expected to complete phase I clinical trials.
The first project aims to develop a universal flu vaccine that can be used over several years. While traditional flu vaccines target highly variable antigens on the virus' surface and must be adapted and newly produced each year, the new vaccine will be based on antigens that are well conserved across the strains and largely stable over time. AmVac will be involved in vaccine design and contributes its MALP adjuvant to optimize efficacy.
The second project targets leishmaniasis, an infectious disease transmitted by certain species of sand fly. It is found in parts of the tropics, subtropics and southern Europe. There is no vaccine currently available.
Funds provided under the FP7 program must only be matched to 25% by small and medium-size companies such as AmVac. “It is an excellent opportunity to leverage our investments and create significant potential for patients and investors—even more so, as both projects are expected to complete first clinical trials within the funding periods,” said Melinda Karpati, chief executive officer of AmVac.