March 26, 2017
In light of a recent increase in avian influenza outbreaks in China, Protein Sciences Corporation announced that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, has requested that the company develop two new vaccine candidates for influenza A(H7N9), according to a press release.
The request was made under a multimillion dollar contract that BARDA awarded to Protein Sciences in September. According to a recent MMWR, there have been 1,258 cases of influenza A(H7N9) in China since the virus emerged in the region in 2013. Researchers discovered that H7N9 has split into two distinct lineages, one of which is highly pathogenic and shows reduced susceptibility to existing vaccines. In response, WHO has recommended the development of two new vaccines for each strain for pandemic preparedness purposes, the release said.