IDRI Receives Grant to Develop a Novel Vaccine to Combat Pandemic Flu

The Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) today announced it has received a multi-million dollar grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Army Research Office (ARO), both parts of United States Department of Defense. This new funding will support IDRI's development of a single-dose influenza vaccine to be widely administered in case of a pandemic flu outbreak.

The proposal combines cutting-edge vaccine adjuvant technology from IDRI and a microneedle delivery device. Intradermal vaccine delivery has proven benefits over conventional administration methods and may enhance protection as well as allowing for a reduction in the amount of antigen needed. A similar beneficial effect has been observed with some of IDRI's adjuvants.

Dr. Darrick Carter, director of formulations at IDRI and principal investigator, says, "We are in a unique position to bring the vaccine adjuvant and the delivery technologies together to elicit better and more rapid stimulation of the body's defenses." This grant will support IDRI's proof-of-concept preclinical and Phase 1 clinical work, combining technologies to make a vaccine capable of being effective after only a single shot.

The device-adjuvant platform resulting from this program can be applied to intradermal delivery of a variety of vaccine products, targeting many of the world's most challenging diseases.