Development of a combined influenza/SARS vaccine
Time of action: SARS/FLU VACCINE started
in December 2004 and is scheduled to end in November 2007
EU budget (funding): € 1.6 million
The spontaneous appearance of SARS in humans in 2003 and the
regular, yearly appearance of influenza provoke an obvious
question: could it be possible to produce a single vaccine
that protects against both diseases?
A project led by an Austrian SME aims to do exactly this.
Green Hills Biotechnology is well acquainted with influenza:
it currently has two products in development based on genetically
modified versions of the virus.
The company now uses its expertise in viral engineering to
develop a combined SARS/FLU vaccine. It has teamed up with
three other SMEs in Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovenia
which have added their expertise in antigen identification,
preclinical testing and protein purification. The project
also includes two renowned university research institutions.
The project will use Green Hills' engineered influenza virus
as its starting point. This modified virus is unable to replicate,
but still expresses immunogenic influenza proteins on its
surface. The sequences for relevant antigens from the SARS-associated
coronavirus will be added to the influenza vector so that
it expresses SARS proteins on its surface too. Several constructs
will be tested for immunogenicity: the one that provokes the
best immune response without compromising safety in animal
testing will be selected for a full preclinical testing programme.
Franz Kalthuber (GHB)
Green Hills, Biotechnology Research Development Trade GmbH
Gersthofer Str. 29-31
1180 Vienna, Austria
List of partners (listed countrywise)
AT – Green Hills Biotechnology Research Development
Trade GmbH, Vienna
DE – Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Hospital, Frankfurt
AT – Department of Medical Biochemistry, Medical University
SI – Bia Separations d.o.o., Ljubljana, Slovenia
AT – Emergentec Business Analytics GmbH, Vienna
CZ – Biotest s.r.o., Konarovice