Making Flu History

Sabin is committed to ending the threat of flu. We’ve launched a three-year initiative to foster innovative approaches from diverse disciplines to accelerate the development of a universal flu vaccine.

The global community must act now to spur the development of a vaccine that offers broad, protective immunity not only against known viruses but also pandemic strains that could devastate the world.

Why Now

Each year, seasonal flu costs the United States more than $10 billion in direct medical costs and more than $87 billion in total economic costs. And although the 1918 “Spanish flu” is a century removed, the world is more vulnerable than ever to the next influenza pandemic, which could strike at any time. Though the scientific community has made admirable strides, at the current pace of research and development, a vaccine that could end the threat of flu is still, at best, a decade away.

There is a clear and urgent need for a next-generation influenza vaccine, and more innovative approaches are needed to ensure that a vaccine is available before the next pandemic. To that end, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Page Family recently announced a new $12 million Grand Challenge to identify novel, transformative concepts that will lead to development of universal influenza vaccines. The Grand Challenge is an important and necessary step toward finding a game-changing solution to end the threat of flu.

Our Role

Alongside the Grand Challenge, Sabin has launched a new initiative to move the world closer to ending the threat of flu. Sabin’s role is as an innovation broker — building bridges, creating networks and inviting disruptive thinkers to explore new angles that complement, and challenge, traditional biomedical research in order to spur the next breakthrough. The initiative includes several exciting strategic partnerships, including collaborations with the Aspen Institute and the World Economic Forum.

Vaccine development — particularly for a complex virus like influenza — is challenging. But this shared global quest is essential to improve — and save — the lives of millions of people around the world.

If you have innovative ideas that could accelerate the development of universal flu vaccines, we want to hear from you. Contact us at to share your ideas and learn more about our efforts to make flu history.