Seqirus Flu Vaccine Reduces Hospitalization in Retirement Home Patients, Study Shows

Elderly Person Getting Flu Shot

With the flu season upon us, news about ways to combat the seasonal infectious disease is on the minds of many, particularly those most susceptible. New data released this morning shows there may be a better means of reducing hospitalization risk in older patients.

This morning, Seqirus released new data that shows Fluad, an adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine, was more effective than standard non-adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine in reducing the risk of flu- and pneumonia-related hospitalization in patients 65-years-of-age and older. Findings from the study, which was led by a team of Brown University researchers, were presented at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Clinical Vaccinology Course in Washington, D.C.

The study focused on older Americans who had been living in nursing and retirement homes during the 2016-2017 flu season. During that flu season, one of the most predominant strains was the A/H3N2 influenza virus, which was subject to antigenic drift and egg-adaptation, Seqirus said. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the overall vaccine efficacy for the 2016-2017 flu season was 21% for A/H3N2 viruses in adults 65 years and older, and 20% overall across all strains, the company added. Flu vaccine effectiveness tends to be lower in this particular population due to age-related immune decline, which reduces the body's ability to produce a sufficient, protective immune response to the vaccine. The flu represents a serious health threat each year. Globally, there are about 650,000 deaths from the flu worldwide and millions of people are hospitalized due to the illness.

Data shows that 823 nursing home facilities were randomized to offer Fluad versus a standard non-adjuvanted TIV influenza vaccine as part of the standard of care for 50,012 residents age 65 years and older. The goal of the study was to evaluate the potential role that Fluad had in reducing the risk of hospitalization in this patient population. The researchers said those patients who took Fluad were sent to the hospital 6% less than those who received the standard non-adjuvanted TIV.

Additionally, the researchers said Fluad was 20% more effective than TIV in reducing the rate of hospitalization for influenza and pneumonia.

Seqirus’ Fluad uses MF59 adjuvant technology, designed to create a strong, broad and durable immune response. Gregg Sylvester, head of medical affairs at Seqirus, a division of Australia-based CSL Limited, said the data from the study builds on the “growing body of evidence that MF59 adjuvanted seasonal influenza vaccines can reduce the chance of hospitalization due to influenza-related illness” in patients who are 65 or older. Sylvester said Seqirus is focused on the prevention of influenza.

Seqirus was established in 2015 after CSL acquired Novartis' influenza vaccines business. The company is now one of the largest providers of flu vaccines in the world. The company maintains production facilities in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia.

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