UPDATED: VaxInnate brings seasonal flu vaccine into Phase II

Each year, health authorities make predictions about which flu strains will be the most common. But if the strains mutate, flu vaccines are powerless to prevent infection. Enter VaxInnate, which is taking its quick-to-produce quadrivalent seasonal flu vaccine into Phase II safety trials.

The vaccine, dubbed VAX2012Q, is a recombinant vaccine produced using the company's toll-like receptor (TLR) technology, which is a low-cost and scalable process, the company said in a statement. The double-blind, randomized, active comparator-controlled study will pit the candidate against Sanofi's ($SNY) Fluzone Quadrivalent.

"We believe our proprietary recombinant vaccine production technology offers significant benefits over traditional manufacturing methods, including reliability and cost effectiveness," said Wayne Pisano, VaxInnate's president and CEO.

VaxInnate's process requires a much smaller facility and lower capital costs than the traditional egg-based process, Pisano told FierceVaccines.

"Yields are very high and the manufacturing time is half that of egg or cell culture (vaccines)."

VaxInnate CEO Wayne Pisano

VaxInnate's technology can also produce vaccines quickly, which could give the candidate an upper hand in strain drifts, Pisano said. A strain drift occurred this year when the flu strains that health authorities predicted should be included in flu vaccines didn't match the strains that actually circulated.

The trial is funded in part by a 5-year BARDA contract, that was extended in February this year to February 2016, which allowed the company to use $53 million. Some of the funding will be used to bring a pandemic flu vaccine into two separate studies, which are expected to start by year end.

- here's the release