Flublok History

Throughout its history, Flublok has been recognized as an innovative vaccine made with modern DNA technology. Find out what it took to get Flublok where it is today!

Flublok is the world’s first recombinant protein based influenza vaccine. Although we use modern technology to produce Flublok, its development did not happen overnight. By the time we applied for approval of Flublok from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008, we had completed a total of 13 clinical studies in adults to demonstrate that Flublok is safe and effective. The first 9 studies were conducted in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These studies primarily tested formulations with either one or two hemagglutinin components, rather than the three components in the licensed Flublok. We conducted four studies that tested the safety and effectiveness of the trivalent Flublok formulation. This is the formulation of the licensed vaccine.

Following our initial license application in 2008, we entered a long phase of pre-approval inspections, answering questions from FDA, and completing multiple regulatory submissions to FDA. On January 16, 2013, Flublok was approved by FDA for adults 18-49 years old. Since then, several other major milestones have been achieved:

  • June 2013 - the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] advisory committee) unanimously recommended Flublok for adults including those with egg allergies.
  • August 2014 - FDA approved the extension of the Flublok shelf life from 16 weeks to 6 months.
  • October 2014 - Flublok was approved by FDA for all adults 18 and over (no upper age limit).
  • May 2015 - we received approval to manufacture Flublok at our large scale facility in Pearl River, NY, increasing our manufacturing capacity by 5 fold.
  • November 2015 - Flublok was approved for use in Mexico
  • June 2016 - FDA approved the extension of the Flublok shelf life from 6 months to 9 months.
  • October 2016 - FDA Approves Flublok Quadrivalent for adults 18 and older
  • June 2017 - Flublok Quadrivalent data was published in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that RIV4 provided better protection than standard-dose IIV4 against confirmed influenza-like illness among older adults. Read more here. 

Throughout its history, Flublok has been recognized as an innovative vaccine, most recently being recognized by the Connecticut Economic Review as the first recombinant influenza vaccine, alongside other Connecticut firsts such as the helicopter, the 33 1/3 LP record, and the first nuclear submarine.

Flublok innovation will not stop here. We are continuing to improve our vaccine by developing alternative methods of administering the vaccine to eliminate the traditional syringe and needle, and developing a formulation that does not require refrigeration.

Connecticut's History of Innovation