US Biologic Presents Development of a Chewable Flu Vaccine: Offers New Tool to Increase Vaccine Equity, Avoid Needles, and Reduce Pandemics
Dr. Jolieke G. van Oosterwijk, US Biologic Chief Scientific Officer, presented key findings on a chewable flu vaccine that US Biologic is developing in partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures (DRIVe) as part of its Beyond the Needle program.
The presentation was held at the 7th International Conference on Vaccines Research & Development at the Boston Marriott Newton on November 8, 2022. Dr. van Oosterwijk also chaired the bacterial and viral vaccines conference sections.
Dr. van Oosterwijk presented pre-clinical findings on the vaccine, including thermostability, targeted delivery, and immune response. The talk, titled “Oral Vaccination Strategies and Pandemic Prevention,” also highlighted the need for oral vaccines in the context of rapid response platforms to prevent pandemics before they arise.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu pandemics can result in up to 41M annual infections in the U.S., alone, and up to 710K hospitalizations. Vaccines are considered the most important means to limit infections and hospitalizations, and, according to the CDC, 80% of children who die from the flu are not vaccinated. However, not everyone has access to traditional flu vaccines, and some may refuse to take a vaccine because of needles.
“A key challenge in vaccines is accessibility,” says Dr. van Oosterwijk. “It’s our goal to offer a chewable vaccine that can be stored at room temperature and shipped more easily than traditional flu vaccines.” Dr. van Oosterwijk also notes that these vaccines ultimately could be shipped to homes, eliminating visits to doctors’ offices or pharmacies to receive vaccines. “And of course,” she adds, “Not everyone will take a needle, so this chewable flu vaccine could be a great alternative.”
David Sanders, Executive Director of Securing America’s Medicines and Supply, suggests the chewable flu vaccine can become a key tool to limit the spread of pandemics. “Influenza is a historic and current healthcare challenge,” he says. “This chewable flu vaccine has the potential to help limit a potentially deadly disease in the U.S. and globally.”
“The chewable flu vaccine is an important expansion of our OrisBio© oral-delivery biotechnology platform,” notes US Biologic CEO Mason Kauffman. “It’s a ‘plug-and-play’ technology, where we can integrate a range of antigens and address different diseases in humans and animals.”
About US Biologic
US Biologic envisions a world without pandemics, partly achieved through oral vaccines and therapeutics. The company’s proprietary oral-delivery platform is changing global disease prevention, allowing safe, effective, and cost-efficient delivery of vaccines and therapeutics.