Longhorn’s Universal Influenza Vaccine Candidate LHNVD-105 Shows Promising Strain Coverage

BETHESDA, Md. & SILVER SPRINGS, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics, LLC (Longhorn), a privately held biotechnology company, today announced publication of pre-clinical data on the company’s universal influenza vaccine candidate, LHNVD-105, which is a multi-epitope unconjugated influenza composite peptide formulated in collaboration with the U.S. Army’s Liposomal Adjuvant (ALFQ). The study, which appears in the June issue of the international, peer-reviewed journal Vaccines, suggests that LHNVD-105 provides broader coverage than seasonal vaccines currently on the market and is less costly to administer and manufacture.

“The initial data from the ALFQ adjuvanted vaccine exceeded our high expectations,” said Gerald W. Fischer, MD, CEO of Longhorn. “We believe that a successful universal influenza vaccine will need to combine ’state of the art’ adjuvant technologies and highly conserved influenza epitopes to optimize the host immune response.”

Influenza remains a major cause of respiratory infections worldwide. Prior to the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, the global influenza disease burden was estimated to approach up to 1 billion infections, 35 million cases of severe disease and 300,000 to 500,000 deaths annually.* With many countries re-opening and relaxing mask mandates, influenza is likely to return to normal seasonal levels, but pandemic influenza remains a real and current threat.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that pandemic vaccines must be highly efficacious, scalable, adaptable, affordable, and minimize logistics and consumables to ensure acceptance and equity,” said Dr. Fischer. “Immunogenicity using a low vaccine dose may allow for alternative routes of administration to include intranasal and intradermal, eliminating the need for needles. These studies are currently underway with LHNVD-105.”

Over the last 15 years, Longhorn has been developing and optimizing its universal influenza vaccine based on a patented composite peptide platform. To ensure maximum coverage of different influenza strains, the company has identified and validated conserved peptides from three key components of the influenza virus: the hemagglutinin, the neuraminidase, and matrix protein combined with a T-cell epitope to generate neutralizing antibodies and a balanced cytokine response. In doing so, Longhorn’s universal influenza vaccine can provide multiple pathways to respond to different strains, making it harder for these strains to escape the scope of the vaccine.

As reported in Vaccines:

  • The addition of ALFQ to LHNVD-105 greatly increased its potency and strong antibody responses were seen using both conjugated and unconjugated formulations with doses as low as 1 µg.
  • Antibodies demonstrated both binding and neutralization for both group 1 and 2 influenza viruses. Additionally, both Th1 and Th2 cytokine responses were induced.
  • Composite peptide vaccine manufacturing is highly scalable, and peptides do not require ultra-low temperature storage.
  • Administration requires less of a dose as compared to other influenza vaccines.

ALFQ, patented by the world-renowned adjuvant group at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, contains monophosphoryl lipid A and QS21 saponin as adjuvants, and is a next generation liposomal adjuvant formulation. A liposomal adjuvant formulation developed by GlaxoSmithKline is the adjuvant component in a shingles vaccine, Shingrix, one of the most successful approved vaccines in the world.

For more information about Longhorn’s universal influenza vaccine candidate LHNVD-105, please visit https://lhnvd.com.

About Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics

Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics is an innovative molecular tool, assay and vaccine development company focused on serving unmet critical needs in both developed and developing nations. Longhorn develops vaccines and monoclonal antibodies for the prevention and treatment of pandemic and endemic infectious diseases. The Diagnostic Division’s core product, PrimeStore® Molecular Transport Medium (MTM), is a patented, FDA cleared, state-of-the-art ambient temperature molecular diagnostic collection and transport device that can help governments, global health organizations and drug manufacturers improve the diagnosis and treatment of highly infectious diseases such as Influenza, SARS-CoV-2, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB). Unlike standard devices for collecting and transporting TB samples, PrimeStore® MTM is the first molecular transport device that can safely deactivate pathogens and stabilize RNA and DNA, allowing enhanced point of care and ambient temperature transport for laboratory based molecular testing and characterization. Longhorn is based in Bethesda, Maryland with a diagnostic research and development facility in San Antonio, TX.

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*World Health Organisation. Influenza (Seasonal). Available online: http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/influenza-(seasonal) (accessed on 11 June 2021).

Contacts

Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics
Jeffrey Fischer
Email: jeff@lhnvd.com

Media:
Alexis Feinberg – Westwicke/ICR PR
Email: alexis.feinberg@westwicke.com

Mark Corbae – Westwicke/ICR PR
Email: Mark.Corbae@westwicke.com