Leveraging On cellular immune resPonses To Improve flu VACcines

OPTIVAC est accrédité par Lyonbiopôle

Identity card

Global budget: 1783 k€

Public funding: 606 k€

Public funders: ANR, Agence Nationale de la Recherche

Call for projects: ANR

Year start: 2014

Completed project (2018-09)

Accredited by the French competitiveness cluster Lyonbiopôle

More information: NA

Strategic business area: Vaccines

Application fields: Infectious diseases, Health & Environment

Technological approaches / Keywords: Analytical Chemistry, Biologics, Biomanufacturing, Cell model / Animal model, Recombinant protein vaccine

Stage of development at the beginning of the project: Basic research, Preclinical development


The project OPTIVAC aims to improve current annual influenza seasonal vaccines, with the addition of the influenza nucleoprotein antigen (NP) fused to IMX313, the proprietary technology developed by Imaxio. Partners will improve the production process of the candidate, understand its mechanism of action, then prove its safety and its efficacy in preclinical models. The final project goal will be the submission of a clinical trial application, in order to test improved vaccine candidates in humans.


Today, annual influenza vaccines are the cornerstone of influenza prevention with roughly 500 million doses administered every year. However, with more than 250 000 deaths annually, influenza remains a heavy medical burden and there are still high unmet medical needs for Influenza vaccines. Indeed, current annual influenza vaccines are less effective in the elderly than in the young. The OPTIVAC project aims to prepare a clinical trial with a new vaccine antigen, to be used, finally, with current vaccines. This should create more effective influenza vaccines, especially for the elderly.

Innovative assets

Innovative assets

The influenza nucleoprotein antigen is the most conserved influenza antigen; therefore immunizing humans against this antigen may protect them against various strains of influenza. IMX313 is a technology dedicated to improve the immunogenicity of various antigens; therefore fusing NP and IMX313 may increase the efficacy of NP in humans. For all these reasons, adding NP-IMX313 to annual influenza vaccines may improve their efficacy, especially in the elderly.