Madison-based biotechnology firm FluGen Inc. announced today its flu vaccine proved effective against a highly mismatched influenza virus in a human challenge trial.

The company has been working to develop a universal flu vaccine that can protect against strains of the virus that have drifted significantly from the strains included in traditional vaccines. The hope is this vaccine could be used for multiple years, which would address the problem of the flu strain changing before the traditional vaccine comes out for a particular flu season.

Preliminary data from FluGen’s Phase 2 clinical trial on its investigational intranasal M2SR vaccine shows it was effective against a six-year mismatch of strains. The trial was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

FluGen’s double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 99 healthy adults compared the 2007 virus M2SR vaccine with the H3N2 influenza virus from 2014-’15. M2SR was effective in reducing both viral load and symptoms among patients who were challenged with a high dose of the H3N2 virus. Read the full story here.