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EU Influenza Research  


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?

Could it be possible to produce a single vaccine that protects against SARS and influenza?

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.

Project coordinator
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 am Main
AT – Department of Medical Biochemistry, Medical University of Vienna
SI – Bia Separations d.o.o., Ljubljana, Slovenia
AT – Emergentec Business Analytics GmbH, Vienna
CZ – Biotest s.r.o., Konarovice