Innovative Software Can Help Bring Effective, Lifelong M2e Flu Vaccines to Market Faster

Designed to Cure

Traditional flu vaccines have to be taken annually, and yet, are shown to be less efficient. Source: Wikimedia Commons User Grook Da Oger

It’s that time of year. The temperatures are dropping, the snow is falling, and the CDC is calling for administration of the annual flu vaccine. Flu is a common ailment during the cold seasons, yet only 50% or fewer Americans get their annual flu shot and, in 2014-2015, the efficacy of the vaccine was shown to be only 19%.1 Meanwhile, scientists have found that increase in elderly (>65 years of age) influenza vaccination coverage in the US after 1980 was not accompanied by a decline in influenza-related mortality,2 and that in children under two years of age, the inactivated influenza A vaccine has little to no effect in preventing flu.3

To overcome the problems of the seasonal flu vaccines, researchers recently have come up with M2e based influenza vaccines that can have broad, and potentially lifelong protection against influenza A and B viruses. M2e vaccine have been successfully tested in animal models and a few clinical studies have shown their safety and immunogenicity in humans. However, efficacy studies are required to provide evidence in humans.4 New software can help bring higher quality M2 flu vaccines to market faster by accelerating knowledge-driven innovation.

M2 based influenza vaccines

M2 is a viroporin which plays an important role in the entry of viruses. The highly conserved extracellular N-terminal domain sequences have been the basis for M2 based vaccines.5 Recent discoveries have attributed immune-modulatory roles to M2 since it can activate autophagy and the inflammasome.

M2e has low immunogenicity, but it can be overcome by combining it with a larger carrier, like N-terminus of papaya mosaic virus coat protein(PapMV), which can help elicit high immunogenicity. Studies have shown that mice injected with highest dose of PapMV-sM2e showed high antibody titers in their body, indicating that one dose of the M2e vaccine would be able to provide lifelong protection against flu, and also they were shown to have broadened effect on most influenza viruses.6

There are some potential advantages of M2e vaccines over seasonal flu vaccines worth considering:

  • The right dosage of M2e vaccines might provide lifelong protection when compared to the annual flu vaccine, as shown by the PapMV-sM2e studies in mice.
  • M2e vaccines can work on a large variety of flu viruses, including some avian flu viruses. 7
  • Since M2e sequences are highly conserved, reformulation is not required,8 unlike annual vaccines, which are reformulated every year depending on the flu antigens at play.

Considering the advantages of M2e vaccines over seasonal flu vaccines, more clinical studies are required to develop M2e vaccines and to test their efficacy and safety in both animal and human models. Innovative software can help in quickening the process with which the vaccine is tested and brought into the market. The software can potentially help in:

  • In silico studies. This streamlined approach can help accelerate the vaccine designing part, focusing on the conserved M2e domain. By combining the results of in silico studies with physical experiments, scientists can optimize the design of the vaccine more rapidly and more cost-effectively. This will allow them to develop lifelong protection and antiviral efficacy.

 

  • Integrated collaboration system. Vaccine development is an elaborate process that requires a lot of teamwork. Integrating research across the organization by utilizing collaborating systems can bring about high quality scientific information throughout the organization during the vaccine designing process.

 

  • Data driven insights.  Researchers can bring this product to market faster by analyzing the comprehensive data throughout vaccine development and making viable conclusions. Also by digitally profiling candidate data during the design process, the researchers can weed out flawed candidates sooner, thus reducing cost of repetitive wet lab experiments and increasing the percentage of viable vaccines to clinical trial stages and subsequently into the market.

 

As common as the flu is, It is highly important that a permanent solution is found for this disease. The newer and more effective M2e-based flu vaccines are the most promising candidates, and modern computational technology can quicken the process of bringing this viable alternative to market without delay.  

BIOVIA’s Designed to Cure can help bring higher quality M2 flu vaccines to market faster by accelerating knowledge driven innovation, which is the need of the hour. It can help maintain highest quality while manufacturing this vaccine. It can create knowledge based, innovation driven ideas that can help this vaccine enter clinical trial phases and then subsequently enter the market as a high quality, effective vaccine. Contact us today to see how this product can help you in the lab.

  1. “Should I Get the Flu Shot? CDC Data Raise Concerns”, December 2016,

    http://www.ecowatch.com/should-i-get-the-flu-shot-2132041142.html

  2.  “Benefits of influenza vaccination on influenza-related mortality among elderly in the US: an unexpected finding”, June 2004, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0531513104001694
  3. “Failure of inactivated influenza A vaccine to protect healthy children aged 6-24 months”, April 2004, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15056235
  4. “M2-based influenza vaccines: recent advances and clinical potential”, September 2016,

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14760584.2017.1240041?scroll=top&needAccess=true

  5. “M2e-Based Universal Influenza A Vaccines”, March 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4494237/
  6.  “Engineering of the PapMV vaccine platform with a shortened M2e peptide leads to an effective one dose influenza vaccine.” December 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26549362
  7. Ibid.
  8.  “M2e-Based Universal Influenza A Vaccines”, March 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4494237/