Design of randomized, double-blind, controlled, multi-centre phase IIB trials as part of the eufunded unisec project to assess the safety, immunogenicity and clinical efficacy of cross-seasonal universal influenza vaccines with or without pandemic influenza vaccine in healthy adults

Heng Liu, Stuart Robinson, Tamar Ben-Yedidia, Wilson Caparros-Wanderley, Tanya Gottlieb, Ron Babecoff, Ed Schmidt, Anke Huckriede, Eelko Hak



Background: Current influenza vaccines mainly induce immune responses against viral membrane glycoproteins, which undergo continuous mutations through antigenic drift. To prevent immune escape, annual vaccination with the latest predicted viral strains is adopted. Such vaccination strategy is inconvenient and cost-inefficient. Moreover, poor protective effectiveness is observed when there is antigenic mismatch between vaccine strains and actual epidemic strains. This is especially of concern during a pandemic outbreak, when large populations are affected by the newly re-assorted viral strain derived from antigenic shift. Objectives: To design phase IIb studies to evaluate the safety, immunogenicity and cross-seasonal clinical efficacy of two universal influenza vaccines (Flu-v and M-001) targeting different conserved epitopes of influenza viruses. The tested epitopes are identified from the viral surface glycoproteins as well as the viral internal (structural) proteins. Moreover, these epitopes are consistently expressed on both influenza A and B viruses. Methods: In two separate trials, a total of 1500 healthy adults will be recruited from multiple centers in Europe and randomized to receive placebo or the tested influenza vaccines at low or high antigen doses through a double-blind procedure. Two parenteral administrations will be given with a 21 day interval. In one trial, additional administrations of pandemic influenza vaccine will be given 21 and 42 days after the second administration. Clinical symptom scores and adverse events (AEs) will be collected from AE diary card. Humoral and cellular immune correlates of protection will be assessed. The (severity of) incident RT-PCR-confirmed influenza infection will be recorded over two subsequent influenza seasons. Conclusions: Universal influenza vaccines are urgently needed to increase protection among vulnerable groups. Vaccine trial design needs to incorporate safety, correlates of protection and clinical efficacy.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)159
Aantal pagina's1
TijdschriftPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Nummer van het tijdschriftS1
StatusPublished - 1-okt-2014

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