The University of Maryland, led by Dr. Kathleen Neuzil and Dean E. Albert, has secured a research contract of over $200 million over seven years. One of the largest of its kind, the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health (CVD) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) received the funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and includes an initial $2.5 million to conduct clinical testing of influenza services.

Influenza

Influenza, a contagious respiratory illness, is one of the greatest infectious disease threats to health and well-being. The disease impacted 43 million people in the U.S. alone during the 2018-2019 season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While current vaccines are our best tool to protect against influenza and its complications, the CVD CIVIC will address the urgent need for novel vaccines that provide broad and long-lasting protection.

The NIAID Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Center

CVD will utilize the funds to 1) develop and test improved seasonal influenza vaccines and 2) conduct controlled human influenza challenge studies for NIAID Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Center (CIVICs) programthe latter part of the ultimate goal to develop a universal vaccine to protect against emerging influenza strains as well as improvements to current seasonable vaccines.

The CIVICs program includes multidisciplinary research across a large network of institutions, supporting the development of vaccine candidates through testing in pre-clinical studies, clinical trials and human challenge studies. This new CVD funding will establish the CVD CIVIC Clinical Core, with the specific goal of evaluating improved seasonal influenza vaccines and ultimately developing a universal vaccine to protect against emerging influenza strains.

CVD is a Global Lead in Vaccine Development

For over four decades CVD has worked domestically and internationally to develop, test and deploy vaccines to prevent and protect against a range of diseases, such as influenza, cholera, typhoid fever, malaria, shigellosis (bacillary dysentery), and other infectious diseases. Additionally, they have emerged as a leader in the development of vaccines to protect against emerging pathogens such as Zika and Ebola virus.

Lead Research/Investigator

Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, Director, Center for Vaccine Development

Reece E. Albert 

Call to Action: Are you interested in influenza vaccine development? Consider monitoring the University of Maryland and Kathleen Neuzil who will lead the effort. Also, sign up for the TrialSite Newsletter.

Source: EurekAlert!

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