LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lincoln based Adjuvance just signed a one year contract with one of the National Institutes of Health to improve the Influenza vaccine.
Flu vaccines could be improving thanks to Ajuvance
Adjuvance Technologies, a privately owned biopharmaceutical company, is known for making breakthroughs in vaccines. Adjuvance's last major project was the pertussis or whooping cough vaccine. Today, Dr. Tyler Martin, CEO of Adjuvance, and his team are looking to take on the flu shot.
Martin tells 1011NOW that the key to an efficient vaccination comes from a tree in Chile. The company has worked to manufacture that in a lab on the Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln.
The recently signed half-a-million dollar contract will allow Adjuvance to make sure that the vaccine works for people of all ages.
"The world can get immunized with half as much material being manufactured," said Dr. Martin.
Adjuvance is working with the National Institute for Allergic and Infectious diseases.
The "jump-starter" flu shot will be mixed with an adjuvant. Adjuvants stimulate the body's immune system by allowing it to recognize and better accept vaccines. Said Dr. Martin:
"We like jump-start your immune system so your immune system responds better to the flu, pertussis or tuberculosis."
Dr. Martin says the shot is intended for people with compromised immune systems, such as older adults or those with underlying health conditions.
"It sends signals to the immune system to say 'Get ready there's something here you need to respond to,' and you respond to it normally, like you were supposed to," said Dr. Martin.
In the future, Dr. Martin says this adjuvant could be added to vaccinations all over the world.
The contract with the NIH lasts for one year. Dr. Martin says once that year is up, Adjuvance will giving the upgraded flu vaccine to roughly 10,000 people.