Universal flu vaccine developed at Cornell nearing human trials
Updated: May 10, 2020
Vaccine developed at Cornell by DeLisa and Putnam is moving towards the clinic
A universal influenza vaccine with the potential to be longer lasting and more effective than commercially available vaccines is destined for human clinical trials, thanks to a $17.9 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The grant was awarded to Versatope Therapeutics, a biotechnology startup founded by a team including David Putnam, professor of biomedical engineering, and Matt DeLisa, the William L. Lewis Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Putnam and DeLisa developed the vaccine at Cornell and published a study in 2017 detailing its potential. Versatope Therapeutics said in a statement that the grant “will support manufacturing, stability and human clinical studies to demonstrate safety and tolerability in healthy volunteers.” The funding will carry the company through Phase I clinical trials, which could begin as early as 2021.
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