Emmes today announced that it is part of a team of medical centers, universities and private industry supporting the development of a “universal influenza vaccine” that could provide longer-lasting protection than current vaccines and combat a wider variety of influenza viruses.
This is part of the newly launched Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers (CIVICs) program, under the direction of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). According to NIAID, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, the network of research centers will work together in a coordinated, multidisciplinary effort to develop more durable, broadly protective and longer-lasting influenza vaccines.
Dr. Anne Lindblad, president and chief executive officer of Emmes, said, “This project builds upon our experience in supporting clinical trials of influenza vaccines and other emerging infectious diseases, such as Zika and Ebola. It’s exciting to be on the ground floor of this innovative program for NIAID.”
Emmes is working with two other companies to provide the data management and statistical support for the CIVICs program. Digital Infuzion is the prime contractor, with Emmes and Gryphon Scientific, LLC, as subcontractors. All three companies are headquartered in Maryland.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza causes hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths every year. The time it can take to develop vaccines, plus the fact that existing vaccines do not always protect against the continually changing strains of influenza, led to the new NIAID program.
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