This article was first published on The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.
A universal flu vaccine developed by Israel’s BiondVax has been granted patents by both the European Union and Japan, the company announced last Wednesday. BiondVax’s technology had previously received patents in the United States, Hong Kong, Australia, China, Russia and Mexico, and the two new approvals extend its reach dramatically.
With the newest patent approvals, the company said that it can now enter into wide-scale development programs with pharmaceutical companies and governments that will license its technology to develop a one-stop-shop vaccine for influenza.
Ironically, one of the few countries where it has not received a patent is Israel, where the company’s vaccine against all forms of flu — bird, swine, Spanish, Hong Kong, Wisconsin, Brisbane, California, and other well-traveled forms of influenza — was developed. Company officials said that Israeli approval would be forthcoming in the near future.
Studies and clinical trials conducted by the company, hospitals, and universities around the world show that the BiondVax product, Multimeric-001 (M-001), works. BiondVax, established in 2005, licensed the technology from the Weizmann Institute, where it was developed in the mid-90s.
Before BiondVax, researchers developed vaccines for each flu as it popped up. Though it was long known that there were commonalities between strains, mutations made adapting existing vaccines to new strains impractical. As a result, health authorities were not able to properly prepare for flu outbreaks, because it was impossible to know which strain would be “in fashion” in any particular season.
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Photo: Flu Shot