A South Australian developed flu vaccine is about to undergo clinical trials in the US.
As Australians suffer through another bad flu season, with over 220 deaths already recorded, the new vaccine developed at Flinders University is believed to be the first human drug in the world to be completely designed using artificial intelligence (AI).
According to Dr Nikolai Petrovsky, Flinders University professor and research director of Vaxine, current flu vaccines do provide some protection but more can be done to improve their effectiveness.
“Despite currently available vaccines, flu remains a very major global health problem,” he said.
“So far in 2019 there have been over 96 thousand confirmed cases across Australia. The number in WA nearly doubled to 10 thousand, as did the number of deaths, there have been 57 deaths recorded in NSW, 44 in SA, and nearly 40 in Queensland.”
Vaxine was founded in 2002 as a spin out of the National Health Sciences Centre in Canberra. The company is located inside the Flinders University precinct in Adelaide.
The company's lead product is Advax, a novel sugar-based technology designed to enhance the effectiveness of vaccines. Advax has recorded positive results in late-stage human clinical trials involving vaccines against hepatitis B, pandemic influenza and allergy.