Vaccine priorities drive Altimmune to rethink pipeline

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Natali_Mis)
(Image: Getty/Natali_Mis)

Related tags: Altimmune, Vaccines, intranasal

Altimmune cites changing priorities of governments and manufacturers to explain shift in vaccine strategy.

When Altimmune delivered data​ from a Phase II extension study in March, it immediately outlined plans to seek a partner for the intranasal seasonal influenza vaccine candidate it tested in the trial.

Most of the year later, Altimmune is yet to find the development and commercialization partner it needs to take the vaccine candidate, called NasoVAX, into a late-phase trial. Altimmune thinks the wait for a partner may reflect the current state of the vaccine sector. 

Talking to investors on a recent conference call to discuss Altimmune’s third quarter results, CEO, Vipin Garg, outlined what the company has learnt as it has worked to find a partner for NasoVAX.

Garg said, “Interest in seasonal influenza vaccines is being eclipsed by governmental interest in pandemic vaccine and commercial interest in so-called universal influenza vaccine​.”

Altimmune is continuing to look for partners to take NasoVAX forward as a seasonal flu vaccine, in which context it could offer competition to AstraZeneca’s Fluenz. AstraZeneca’s vaccine has carved out a niche as the preferred seasonal flu vaccine for children in markets including the UK.

However, Altimmune is also responding to the partnering environment by broadening its development program to cover the assessment of the nasal technology in a pandemic vaccine. Garg said Altimmune will “assess the value to shareholders for NasoVAX as a pandemic vaccine​.”

If Garg’s reading of the market is accurate, the pivot could move Altimmune into a part of the vaccine field that is of more interest to governments, potentially boosting its efforts to generate a return on the technology.

However, the move into pandemic vaccines, if it happens, will not free Altimmune from competition. AstraZeneca has already applied its intranasal vaccine technology to pandemic influenza strains to help deal with previous outbreaks.

Altimmune thinks the Phase II data suggest its technology is competitive in the context of seasonal influenza but its capacity to move NasoVAX forward in that indication is tied to its ability to persuade a partner to support the program.

At the time of the release of the Phase II extension data, Garg framed Altimmune’s desire to partner up to take NasoVAX forward as a consequence of its focus on building a pipeline of early to mid-stage assets.

The size of vaccine clinical development programs is prohibitive for smaller companies. AstraZeneca brought its intranasal vaccine Fluenz to market after testing it in more than 20,000 people across seven influenza seasons.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

dPCR Case Study

dPCR Case Study

CellCarta | 08-Aug-2022 | Case Study

Streamline your adoptive cell therapy program with digital PCR. Our team has a unique expertise in digital and quantitative PCR to support you in ensuring...

The Reagents Behind Much of Molecular Biology

The Reagents Behind Much of Molecular Biology

Thermo Fisher Scientific | 25-Jul-2022 | Case Study

The ability to amplify, modify and fabricate DNA is fundamental to modern molecular biology. Why do so many researchers take their constituent parts for...

Microsampling in Early Phase Drug Development

Microsampling in Early Phase Drug Development

Altasciences | 10-May-2022 | Technical / White Paper

Microsampling significantly lessens the volume of blood and plasma/serum that is collected and analyzed to determine circulating concentrations of therapeutic...

Consideration and Options for Prefilled Syringes

Consideration and Options for Prefilled Syringes

Baxter BioPharma Solutions | 16-Feb-2022 | Technical / White Paper

Convenience, product differentiation, and less waste are great reasons for developing a product in a prefilled syringe. Baxter’s whitepaper describes the...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more