The team of project UNISEC – coordinated by Groningen University and with world-renowned British flu expert prof. John Oxford among its members - brings together 3 universities, 5 national health institutions and 4 SMEs from the UK, Sweden, The Netherlands, Denmark, Hungary, Norway and Israel. The GBP 5.08 million (Euro 6 million) EU funding will allow the researchers to quickly set up and start clinical trials on two already advanced vaccines and to continue their work on three others.
The scientific breakthrough was only made possible by this European collaboration which brought in a single study a number of vaccine concepts. Contrary to previous vaccines, the new candidates attack proteins in the core of the flu virus that don't change. This is why the scientists expect that one vaccine will be effective against various strains and virus mutations and that the immunisation will work over a longer period. The hope is also that such a vaccine will help anticipate and contain flu pandemics in the future.