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Seqirus Bags $35 Mln U.S. Govt. Contract To Develop Two Pandemic Influenza Vaccines

Seqirus, an influenza prevention provider and an arm of CSL Limited (CSL.AX), on Monday said the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority or BARDA, has chosen the company to develop two influenza A (H2Nx) virus vaccine candidates for assessment in a Phase 1 clinical study, to help safeguard communities in the event of an influenza pandemic.

As per the multi-year $34.95 million deal, Seqirus is expected to provide clinical development services to evaluate the safety, immunogenicity, and dose-sparing capability of two influenza A(H2Nx) vaccine candidates, CSL, an Australian multinational biotechnology company said in a statement.

BARDA is a division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The first candidate will utilize a combination of cell-based and adjuvanted technologies, building on its highly flexible combination platform technology used by AUDENZ (Influenza A(H5N1) Monovalent Vaccine, Adjuvanted), the first-ever adjuvanted, cell-based influenza vaccine, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2020 for use in a pandemic," the company noted.

The second candidate is expected to utilize Seqirus' next-generation self-amplifying mRNA (sa-mRNA) platform, which has demonstrated promise as compared to more traditional influenza vaccine technologies in preclinical research.

Seqirus' sa-mRNA platform, the next-generation version of mRNA technology, builds on traditional mRNA technology, by also instructing the body to replicate mRNA, amplifying the amount of protein made.

This could enable Seqirus to potentially develop more effective vaccines with a smaller dosage and with lower rates of reactogenicity, underscoring the application in both pandemic and seasonal settings.

In preclinical research, sa-mRNA technology demonstrated the potential to raise stronger cellular responses and generate significantly higher antibody titers at the same dose level as mRNA.

At Australian Securities Exchange, CSL on Monday closed at A$287.33 per share, against the previous close of A$288.87. It has traded in a range of A$242.00 - A$320.42 in the last 12-month period.

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