Researchers at Mount Sinai Health System are developing a "universal flu vaccine" that lasts for nearly a decade and could reach the market in the next two years, according to President and CEO Kenneth Davis.
This year's flu vaccine has been criticized for being ineffective due to a "genetic drift" in the makeup of one common strain of flu.
Davis says the vaccine in development would be universal, targeting the "stable part of the virus that doesn't change from year-to-year." Davis says the progress is encouraging and that the vaccine could go live in a "couple of years." The hospital is currently working with a company to create the vaccine.
Davis also says the hospital is taking "real steps" to develop a cancer vaccine that uses the body's "normal defense mechanisms to take out cancer cells." Some approved drugs in the pipeline can enhance antibodies and use the body's own cellular makeup to identify cancerous cells and attack them.
Davis says, "We're getting a hold of the basic biology and pathophysiology of cancer," adding, "We understand it in better ways so we can produce drugs that are more focused, have less adverse effects, and are more effective" (Gillies, "On the Money," CNBC, 1/11).