Europe authorises AstraZeneca’s ‘next generation’ children’s influenza vaccine

The European Commission (EC) has approved AstraZeneca’s four-strain Fluenz Tetra for use as a children’s seasonal influenza vaccine in Europe.

The global biopharma business today announced that their influenza vaccination had been granted Marketing Authorisation by the EC, allowing their self-proclaimed ‘next generation’ nasal treatment Fluenz Tetra to be available in Europe.

Fluenz Tetra, which has been approved in the US since February 2012 as FluMist Quadrivalent, pumps four live virus strains into the nose to induce protective immunity and is boasted as the only influenza vaccine of its kind available in Europe.

While most vaccines contain three virus strains, Fluenz Tetra also includes the second influenza B strain, which has accounted for around 25% of the influenza strains circulating Europe in the past 10 years.

Filip Dubovsky, vice president of AstraZeneca’s biologics research and development arm, said the four-strain vaccine represented the “next generation” of influenza immunisation. The inclusion of the second B strain “will broaden the coverage” and “should have a valuable public health impact”, he said.    

The authorisation from the EC for Fluenz Tetra was based on the results of a study that proved the vaccination offered a similarly good safety and immunogenicity profile as compared with other treatments already on the market, and will now be available throughout the continent for immunising children from 24 months to 18 years old against seasonal influenza.