A powerful flu vaccine which is the result of a decade long research by the team at Flinders Medical Centre is in the last lap of the testing phase at Adelaide. This vaccine believed to be ten times more potent than the ones presently available, promises to doubly benefit during a pandemic, as it can be produced on a large scale.
The new vaccine employs the use of a natural plant sugar that can titillate the production of antibodies as a response to the antigen in the vaccine. Scientists believe that the potency of the vaccine coupled by its capacity for mass production is the best bet to combat a flu epidemic.
Nikolai Petrovsky, the director of diabetes and endocrinology and leader of the research team at Flinders Medical Centre said, "If it works I think it certainly has the potential to revolutionize the approach to flu vaccinations worldwide. Any technology that could stretch the manufacturing capacity would have an enormous impact. It would be very easy to implement and very cost-effective, and yet gives a dramatic boost to the effectiveness of existing vaccines."
Professor Petrovsky explained that plant sugar worked in a similar manner with other vaccines, and has proved effective during the human trial conducted to combat Hepatitis B.
The study which is considered the biggest ever single trial in the world will be tested on 200 healthy volunteers. The Flinders research team is conducting a parallel test of a vaccine against bird flu using the same methods slated to go for trial during the end of this year.
The vaccine is expected to hit the market in a few years.