H7N9: Greffex “Beats the Clock” to Build the First Comprehensive H7N9 Vaccine
Greffex has completed the construction of the first comprehensive vaccine against the virulent strain of H7N9 avian influenza
AURORA, Colo. —
Greffex scientists have created the first comprehensive vaccine for H7N9 avian influenza. Spreading from Shanghai, and transmitted by birds, H7N9 avian influenza is a highly pathological virus that kills nearly 20% of people it infects, making it more lethal than the 1918 “Spanish Flu.” As infected birds display no symptoms, the spread of the virus is difficult to control. While human-to-human transmission of H7N9 is rare, few genetic changes in the virus could greatly enhance contagion and initiate a fast moving pandemic. Keiji Fukuda, Assistant Director-General for health security at the WHO, characterized H7N9 as an “unusually dangerous virus for humans.”
In just one month after the virus had been characterized, Greffex scientists built an H7N9 avian influenza vaccine using its proprietary GREVAXTM technology. Normally development of such a vaccine takes many months. “We believe the world needs a ‘plug-and-play’TM method of creating vaccines,” says Greffex Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Uwe D. Staerz. “Speed as well as flexibility is needed for vaccine design to combat emerged infectious threats. We had already shown with an Anthrax vaccine that we can create ANY vaccine within one month.”
The GREVAXTM vaccine platform has been purpose-built with support by the NIH and NIST. It integrates short development times, with large payloads, carrying the H7N9 avian influenza hemagglutinin and neuramidase genes, and high levels of plasticity. It focuses the potent immunogenicity of adenovirus-based engineered vaccines to vaccine antigens, as it is fully deleted of adenoviral genes and devoid of helper viruses. Its modules allow a flexible ‘plug-and-play’TM design of vaccines for emerging infectious diseases, including but not limited to the H7N9 avian influenza.
Greffex has a vibrant pipeline of vaccines currently undergoing testing. “We originally created the GREVAXTM system for H1N1 swine influenza, and now have a Dengue vaccine, an Anthrax vaccine, an Ebola vaccine, and avian influenza vaccines, and we have overcome major production and manufacturing obstacles,” says John R. Price, President and Chief Executive Officer of Greffex. “And we are working on a universal influenza vaccine, the ‘holy grail’ of vaccine science.”