BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Upi) — Google co-founder Larry Page, through his charitable foundation, has funded a private, for-profit anti-flu program, according tomedia reports. The program provides free flu prevention needles to children at schools in Oakland, California. Page also owns a second company that is also funding a project to develop a generic flu vaccine, the report said.
The free flu vaccine is provided through an organization called Shoo The Flu, which began funding primary and kindergarten students in 2014.
The second company, Flu Lab, funds the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s universal flu vaccine development challenge. Page and his family initially donated directly to the challenge, but later through Flu Lab. Flu Lab also supports the nonprofit Sabin Vaccine Institute, which is working to expand the reach of vaccines. The money will eventually be used to establish the Sabin-Aspen Vaccine Science and Policy Organization and to hold a formal meeting in 2018 to discuss efforts to develop a universal influenza vaccine.
The director of Shoo Flu is also the CEO of Flu Lab, andmedia reported that Shoo Flu will soon be developed under flu Lab’s leadership.
Universal influenza vaccines are a long-term goal of infectious disease research. If successful, scientists will no longer have to predict which flu strains will be prevalent the following year, and one injection will protect people during multiple flu seasons. But while dozens of drug candidates are currently being developed, some of which have already passed clinical trials, the final product may still have to wait several years. (Ding Hong)