Osivax announced Thursday that it has entered into an agreement with the United States’ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to further advance the development of its lead universal flu vaccine candidate, OVX836.

generic influenza virion
3D influenza/CDC

The Company’s proprietary oligoDOM® technology enables OVX836 to target the NucleoProtein, a highly conserved antigen universally present in influenza, thus bypassing the challenge of having to update vaccines based on seasonal variations. Osivax is currently funding a Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating OVX836.

Osivax will be utilizing NIAID’s suite of preclinical services for refined immunological assessments of OVX836. Tests will include flow cytometry analyses to refine cellular immune response evaluation, which will further characterize the CD4, CD8 and polyfunctionality of T cell immune responses in addition to what was previously planned for the study. These studies will allow the Company to get a deeper and more comprehensive assessment of the vaccine’s immunological impact.

“As an emerging biotech company, this agreement with the NIH serves as an important validation of our innovative approach to creating a universal flu vaccine,” commented Alexandre Le Vert, CEO and Co-founder of Osivax. “The clinical trial for OVX836 is an iterative process and the agreement with the NIH helps us to better characterize the immune response from our lead candidate as we continue clinical testing and product development.”