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Two global health non-profit organizations headquartered in Seattle, Washington, the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) and PATH, have entered into a research collaboration agreement to evaluate novel adjuvants for their ability to enhance the immune response of pandemic influenza vaccines in development.
The collaboration supports the goal of PATH's influenza vaccine project to advance the development of promising new influenza vaccines focusing on novel technologies that can be accessible, affordable, and available to people in low-resource countries in a global outbreak. IDRI, a non-profit biotechnology organization, has developed numerous emulsion adjuvants for use with various antigens for the production of vaccines.
Influenza vaccines, against both seasonal and pandemic influenza viruses, are especially needed in developing countries where current influenza vaccines may be unavailable or unaffordable, especially in the quantities needed during a pandemic outbreak. "Adjuvants, or immunostimulants, could be used to increase the worldwide supply of influenza vaccines, and may be crucial to provide the necessary doses in the event of a pandemic," says IDRI's founder and head of research and development Dr. Steve Reed.
Under the agreement, PATH will sponsor research at IDRI to evaluate different emulsions that may work as effective adjuvants in influenza vaccines for pandemic use. IDRI will provide its proprietary emulsion formulations, and PATH, through its collaborators, will provide IDRI with vaccine candidates for evaluation with various formulations. IDRI will then conduct the studies to identify leading vaccine-adjuvant candidates.
"We are delighted to be partnering with IDRI in this effort to identify new, affordable ways of increasing the supply of influenza vaccines in a pandemic," says Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, director of PATH's influenza vaccine project. "The collaboration is an important step toward enhancing the cost-effectiveness of influenza vaccines and expanding their availability to low-resource countries that would not otherwise be able to access them."