DelSite Solving Delivery Of Influenza Vaccine In Pandemic Situations

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Influenza Vaccine In Pandemic Situations

DelSite Biotechnologies's novel powder-based vaccine delivery technology may solve most of the key obstacles that delay influenza pandemic preparedness.

Long-standing problems associated with the production, storage and distribution of vaccines to meet the challenges posed by a pandemic outbreak of an influenza virus, such as the bird flu (H5N1), were highlighted in a series of presentations at the conference. The Conference was supported by the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the International Society for Influenza and other Respiratory Virus Diseases (ISIRV). More than 1,500 influenza experts from around the world attended the conference, including government policy makers, pharmaceutical executives, researchers, physicians, epidemiologists and other professionals focused on the control of influenza.


The following key needs were cited:

1. The ability to have an adequate stockpile of vaccines. Current vaccines must be refrigerated during storage and distribution. Despite its cost and inconvenience, cold storage does not significantly extend the short shelf life of influenza antigens and vaccines. DelSite's GelVac powder vaccine system has been shown to stabilize and preserve an influenza antigen at room temperature for more than two (2) years without loss of potency.

2. The capability to implement rapid distribution in the event of a full pandemic. According to one flu expert, if the next influenza pandemic is equivalent to the flu pandemic that occurred in 1957 (H2N2 virus), timing of actions by the U.S. government would be critical. In 1957, under transportation systems available at the time, it took only six months for the virus to travel from China to the U.S. With today's faster transportation systems allowing 1.2 million people to enter the U.S. each day, it is anticipated the virus would spread much faster. For containment of disease, a massive and expeditious vaccination program, along with other measures, would have to be initiated as quickly as possible.

According to the same expert, about 10 million doses per week for 25 weeks would have to be delivered in order to protect the U.S. population during a full pandemic. Current cold chain distribution systems may not be able to respond, but a nasal powder vaccine that can be shipped at room temperature and be self-administered may be a solution. DelSite's nasal powder technology meets these criteria and could add additional value by providing immunological protection to recipients at the site where viruses normally enter the body: