A/H5N1 prepandemic influenza vaccine (whole virion, vero cell-derived, inactivated) [Vepacel®].

Research paper by Greg L GL Plosker

Indexed on: 14 Jul '12Published on: 14 Jul '12Published in: Drugs


The influenza A subtype H5N1 virus is a likely causative agent for the next human influenza pandemic. Pandemic influenza vaccine production can begin only after a novel pandemic virus emerges. Cell-based vaccine production has advantages over conventional egg-based methods, allowing more rapid large-scale vaccine production. A reliable Vero cell culture system is available for pandemic and prepandemic influenza vaccine production. Prepandemic influenza vaccines are an important component of influenza pandemic preparedness plans, as their targeted use in the pandemic alert period or early in a pandemic is likely to mitigate the consequences of an influenza outbreak. Vepacel® is a prepandemic influenza vaccine (whole virion, Vero cell-derived, inactivated) containing antigen of H5N1 strain A/Vietnam/1203/2004 and is approved for use in the EU. Clinical immunogenicity studies with the vaccine have demonstrated good rates of functional neutralizing antibody responses against the vaccine strain (A/Vietnam/1203/2004), meeting established immunogenicity criteria for seasonal influenza vaccines, and cross-reactivity against H5N1 strains from other clades. In phase I/II and III studies, a heterologous (A/Indonesia/05/2005) booster vaccine administered to healthy adult and elderly volunteers 6-24 months after the two-dose priming vaccine (A/Vietnam/1203/2004) regimen induced good immunogenic responses against both H5N1 strains, demonstrating strong immunological memory. Broadly similar, albeit less robust, responses were observed in two special risk cohorts of immunocompromised and chronically ill patients. In general, adverse events observed in clinical immunogenicity studies with H5N1 vaccine (A/Vietnam/1203/2004) were similar to those reported with non-adjuvanted, inactivated, seasonal influenza vaccines.