The Long Quest for a Universal Flu Vaccine Finally Takes Its First Steps

November 10, 2023

3 hypodermic needles

(Wired) – That goal is known as a universal influenza vaccine. For immunologists, it has been an end-of-the-rainbow phantasm for more than a decade, a deeply desired treasure that manages to stay just out of reach. Recently, though, the pursuit of a better flu shot has notched promising achievements. A vaccine candidate developed by the National Institutes of Health has entered its second Phase 1 clinical trial (which tests whether a compound is safe for humans). Other candidates developed by Moderna, based on the mRNA technology that allowed rapid development of Covid vaccines, are in Phase 1/2 and also Phase 3 trials (which test for efficacy). And novel constructs developed by teams at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania have delivered promising results in mice. They are all feats of engineering and imagination, deploying the latest virological tools against an ancient foe. (Read More)