Polaris Group has entered into an agreement with the University of California,Irvine(UCI) to develop a universal influenza and coronavirus vaccine. This collaboration will use the mRNA vaccine technology developed in the laboratory of Dr. Philip Felgner, who is the head of the UCI Vaccine Research and Development Center, the only integrated program in Vaccine Science in the University of California system. Their expertise ranges from mRNA vaccine development and manufacture through preclinical immune testing and efficacy studies, including competence in using lipids to enhance the activity of a vaccine. A major aim of this collaboration will be to establish that combining the vaccines does not compromise efficacy against the individual components directed against influenza and coronavirus.
The UCI Vaccine Development Center is a key technological milestone in the development of mRNA technology. The UCI Vaccine Development Center team led by Philip Felgner has developed chemically modified RNA and different types of lipid encapsulation (LNP) technologies to solve the problem of unstable mRNA, not only to deliver mRNA to cells in the body, but also to lay the foundation for commercial mass production of mRNA vaccines. In addition to mRNA vaccine development technologies, the UCI Vaccine Center has mRNA vaccine production technologies and technologies for vaccine efficacy and immune response testing. Philip Felgner is also a consultant to the Polaris mRNA technology team.