September 27, 2013
Health officials are calling for 1,700 volunteers to enroll in a study of an experimental vaccine to fight bird flu (H7N9 avian influenza), according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
So far, reports of H7N9 are primarily in China. According the NIH, the virus does not easily jump from person-to-person.
However, the health agency is concerned that the virus could mutate into a more problematic virus.
"H7N9 avian influenza virus...has the potential to cause widespread sickness and mortality," said Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a department of the NIH.
"We are now testing a vaccine candidate with and without adjuvant in an effort to prepare for and, hopefully, protect against this possibility."
The study is comprised of two separate clinical trials. Together, the trials will enroll 1,700 healthy adults between the ages of 19 and 64 years old. A panel of independent experts will monitor safety throughout the trial, according to the NIH.
The H7N9 clinical trials are designed to gather information about:
- safety of the candidate vaccine
- immune responses at different doses
- effects of adjuvants
- MF59 adjuvant, developed by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics
- AS03 adjuvant, developed by GlaxoSmithKline Biologics
- Houston, Texas
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Durham, North Carolina
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Seattle, Washington
- Saint Louis, Missouri
- Iowa City, Iowa
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Nashville, Tennessee