Professor Phil Kalra

Pioneering study looks at new vaccines to help limit future global flu pandemics

Researchers at Northern Care Alliance are supporting a pioneering study for new vaccines that could help limit future global influenza pandemics.

The early phase study, sponsored by Moderna, is assessing the safety and immune responses to investigational pandemic influenza vaccines. This will not only help advance research of investigational mRNA flu vaccines against pandemic influenza but may also aid vaccine development for other infectious diseases.

Around 40 volunteer participants are receiving one of four versions of an mRNA vaccine at the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Manchester Clinical Research Facility (CRF) at Salford Royal Hospital. The team are working to their recently established high-throughput model involving a highly skilled multi-disciplinary team, where participants are able to have several steps in just one visit to make it more convenient for them.

Innovative approach

NCA’s Director of Research and Innovation Professor Phil Kalra (pictured above) is the Principal Investigator for the study at Salford. He said: “Our innovative approach to this important Phase 1/2 study has developed from NCA’s leading role in successfully delivering Covid vaccine research. During the pandemic, nearly 900 volunteers were involved, initially at our community vaccine research centre in Oldham and later at Salford Royal. We now have a great deal of expertise right through the multi-disciplinary team with a dedicated vaccine research team, medical, nursing, pharmacy, laboratory and administration colleagues working together to deliver research efficiently and effectively and at scale.

“We are delighted to be one of just a handful of sites worldwide offering this study and to work in partnership with study sponsor Moderna again.”

Jacky Smith

Professor Jacky Smith

Director of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Manchester Clinical Research Facility (CRF), Professor Jacky Smith, said; “We are very proud to support this important study looking at immune responses to vaccines at the NIHR Manchester Clinical Research Facility. A huge thank you to all the research participants giving their time to take part and the multi-disciplinary team at the Manchester CRF at Salford Royal who are delivering it.

“Vaccines are vital for pandemic preparedness against influenza viruses and for protecting people from other illnesses, and this research could help enable a rapid response to potential pandemics in the future.”

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