A new, optimized vaccine for H7N9 flu could soon move into production.

PROVIDENCE – Getting into the clinic has always been a bit of a stumbling block for EpiVax, a creative vaccine design firm headquartered in the former Jewelry District, with its pioneering immuno-informatics tools.

Now, EpiVax is on the cusp of getting one of its designed vaccines into the clinic – an optimized, H7N9 flu vaccine, working in partnership with Protein Sciences Corporation, a Meridian, Conn.-based firm.

EpiVax has been involved in analysis of the H7N9 flu since its widespread outbreak in China in 2013, labeling it as a “stealth” virus, because it contained far fewer epitopes than other flu strains, making the traditional flu vaccine far less effective.

In response, EpiVax was then able to use its immuno-informatics tools to design a “fix” for the vaccine to make it more effective.

In turn, Protein Sciences has developed an FDA-approved influenza vaccine manufacturing process, using the company’s proprietary protein expression technology that can produce high quality recombinant proteins quickly, reliably and at a low cost.

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