TFF Pharmaceuticals, UGA Collaborate on Flu Vaccine

April 9, 2020

3 Min Read
TFF Pharmaceuticals, UGA Collaborate on Flu Vaccine

TFF Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative drug products based on its patented Thin Film Freezing (TFF) technology platform, announces that it has entered into a research collaboration with the University of Georgia’s Center for Vaccines and Immunology (CVI), along with the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), to evaluate the immunogenicity and efficacy of universal influenza vaccines following TFF.

Researchers in the University of Georgia’s CVI are world leaders in vaccine development. In 2019, the National Institutes of Health awarded University of Georgia researchers up to $130 million to develop a new universal flu vaccine designed to protect against multiple strains of influenza virus in a single dose.

Under the terms of the collaboration, TFF Pharmaceuticals, along with UT Austin and the University of Georgia’s CVI will collaborate to investigate TFF-formulated CVI recombinant universal influenza vaccines. As part of this collaboration, UT Austin will formulate hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) proteins, with and without adjuvant, using TFF technology. The University of Georgia’s CVI will then evaluate the ability of these TFF formulated compounds to elicit broadly reactive immune responses and potentially provide longer-lasting protection against a wider variety of influenza viruses, in a pre-clinical challenge model.

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Influenza is a contagious viral infection that attacks the respiratory system infecting the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths annually in the US since 2010, and hundreds of thousands of deaths globally.

“Both seasonal and pandemic influenza continue to be major public health threats,” said Glenn Mattes, CEO of TFF Pharmaceuticals. “There is a critical unmet need to develop universal influenza vaccines to address genetic drifting of the virus that can impact the effectiveness of vaccines on patients and address the long production timelines that occur each year.”

“Our goal is to develop vaccines that are broadly protective against most of the versions of influenza that infect humans, and particularly for those most vulnerable people in our population,” said Ted M. Ross, Director of the University of Georgia Center for Vaccines and Immunology. “Ultimately, the vaccines we hope to develop could protect against multiple forms of influenza, even those we don’t know exist yet.”

TFF Pharmaceuticals’ testing confirms that TFF maintains a potential vaccine’s particle size distribution and immunogenicity, is robust for extended periods at room temperature, withstands unintentional freezing, and can be stored and shipped free of cold-chain handling, displays extended stability for stockpiling – dry powder storage over liquid, and provides for needle-free vaccination (nasal or inhalation administration).

“Combining liquid-based compounds to develop more broadly protective vaccines is often problematic,” said Robert O. Williams, division head of the University of Texas at Austin’s Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery. “Thin film freezing these compounds may allow them to be combined more readily into a dry powder, be shelf stable, and be delivered via lung or nasal inhalation.”

TFF Pharmaceuticals continues to engage with various government and defense contracting agencies in an effort to utilize the company’s TFF technology platform to formulate dry powder vaccines for delivery via reconstitution or lung inhalation or nasal inhalation.

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