Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Adding DVAX to the bird flu basket. From their website:

Human Viral Influenza

Human viral influenza is an acute respiratory disease of global dimension with high morbidity and mortality in annual epidemics. In the U.S. there are an estimated 20,000 viral influenza-associated deaths per year. Pandemics occur infrequently, on average every 33 years, with high rates of infection resulting in increased mortality. The last pandemic occurred 35 years ago, and virologists anticipate that a new pandemic strain could emerge any time.

Current flu vaccines are directed against specific surface-antigen proteins. These proteins vary significantly each year, requiring the vaccine to be reconfigured and administered annually. Our approach links advanced ISS to nucleoprotein, one of the flu antigens that varies little from year to year, and then adds it to conventional vaccine to augment its activity. While nucleoprotein alone is not capable of inducing a protective immune response, we believe that linked ISS-nucleoprotein added to conventional vaccine will not only increase antibody responses capable of blocking viral infections, but also confer protective immunity against divergent influenza strains. In the third quarter of 2003 we were awarded a $3.0 million grant over three and a half years to fund research and development of an advanced pandemic influenza vaccine under an NIAID program for biodefense administered by the National Institutes of Health.


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