ABOUT

Project INDIGO is jointly funded research and innovation project funded by the European Commission, as part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, and India’s Department of Biotechnology. INDIGO is a 5-year program aimed at moving towards a next generation influenza vaccine. This program contributes to Sustainable Development Goal 3: to ensure health and well-being, at every stage of life.

INDIGO is part of call: SC1-BHC-32-2019, Project 874653

WHY

Influenza is a major global health burden, with an estimated 500,000 deaths annually. Each year, the influenza pandemic impacts millions of people worldwide. What starts with a relatively simple flu infection, may evolve into a serious, or even fatal, secondary infection.

The goal of INDIGO is to promote the development of vaccines that can alleviate the global burden of influenza, especially through the protection of vulnerable and underserved populations

PROJECT AIMS

Improve the overall efficacy and impact of flu vaccines

Test a low dose of influenza vaccine antigen in combination with a novel adjuvant called LVA, with the goal to reduce the cost of goods and promote affordability especially in low- and middle-income countries

Improve the immunogenicity of the most commonly used antigen for influenza vaccine (HA protein) by modifications to this protein 

Study the reasons why people decide whether or not to take their flu shot, and design strategies to help people making the right choices. We will also study cultural differences between the EU and India.

Investigate methods to improve the cellular immunity to the vaccine, e.g. by trying new adjuvants and improve the route of vaccination

Develop a needle-free application of the experimental vaccines by using microneedle patches for intradermal application

Investigate whether the combination of the modified HA protein along with a novel adjuvant (an extra compound in the vaccine to boost the immune-response) will act synergistically in the induction and development of protective immunity

Eleviate the regulatory hurdles that prohibit the distribution of vaccines especially during a pandemic crisis, both for developed and developing countries

The work of INDIGO is divided into 4 clusters

Each cluster consists of EU and Indian consortium members

Clinical Evaluation: Consortium members of this cluster will conduct the formal pre-clinical toxicity studies along with the phase I and phase II clinical trials.

Nonclinical Evaluation: Consortium members of this cluster will conduct the nonclinical immunology and pharmacology studies. They will also focus on the mode of action studies on the adjuvant in animals and in vitro with human immune cells

Novel Antigens and Adjuvants: Consortium members of this cluster will design the antigens, conduct feasibility studies in animals and prepare research material for the nonclinical evaluation team and cGMP batches of antigen and adjuvant for the clinical evaluation teams

Exploitation and Dissemination: Consortium members of this cluster will work to prepare the market for the next generation of flu vaccines through the regulatory framework of proprietary technologies and exploitation of the seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines. Additionally, this cluster will also focus on increasing the uptake of the vaccine in both the developing and developed countries