A Madison-based company called FluGen has begun a new study of its flu vaccine in older adults. 

FluGen aims to improve on currently available flu vaccine options, which have “shown only modest efficacy” in most flu seasons, the company said in a release. 

A CDC report from earlier this year found this season’s flu vaccine was only about 16 percent effective. In a separate report, the federal agency said flu vaccination typically reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40 and 60 percent, “during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched” to those used in making vaccines. 

Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a professor of virology at UW-Madison and FluGen co-founder, says this study is the first of its kind to combine nasal vaccine delivery with intramuscular shots to explore the potential for improving vaccine efficacy. 

“We have seen numerous approaches to solving the challenge of influenza vaccine efficacy over the past decade, but despite these efforts, none have achieved the efficacy needed to improve health outcomes,” he said in a release from the company. 

The study involves healthy adults between the ages of 65 and 85, as this age range is highly vulnerable to flu-related mortality, the release shows. The company aims to enroll 300 subjects across four cohorts. 

Paul Radspinner, company president and CEO, points to a “demonstrated unmet medical need” to better protect older adults from the flu. 

He says this research effort “may not only help potentially improve outcomes associated with flu, but may also yield important insights to guide further research into combination vaccine approaches for other viruses,” including the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. 

Read the full WisBusiness here: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2022/flugen-begins-flu-vaccine-study/

See more details here: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/flugen-announces-first-subject-dosed-in-phase-1b-clinical-trial-of-its-intranasal-m2sr-flu-vaccine-co-administered-with-high-dose-vaccine-in-older-adults-301572735.html