BiondVax looks to make mark in universal flu vax space

As we reported earlier, developing a universal flu vaccine is of great interest to many firms, with companies like BiondVax Pharmaceuticals and VaxInnate looking to make their marks in the field.

Indeed, Israel's BiondVax presented this week at the 2010 Influenza USA Congress in Washington, D.C., where CSO Tamar Ben Yedidia discussed her company's attempts to look for a universal flu vaccine. Last month, the company began immunizing patients in a Phase IIa clinical trial of the Multimeric-001 universal flu vaccine candidate. The vaccine is comprised of a unique, proprietary combination of conserved epitopes from influenza virus proteins, designed to stimulate both antibody-mediated and cell-mediated immunity against both Type A and Type B influenza strains, and is thereby intended to provide protection against all seasonal and pandemic flu strains.

In both patient groups tested in Phase I/II trials--18-49-year-olds and 55- to 75-year-olds--the vaccine proved to be safe and well-tolerated. The product is now undergoing Phase IIa testing, with results expected in March. Yedidia added that Phase IIb results are expected in 2012.

Earlier this week, the company announced that it has raised $1.25 million under its standby equity distribution agreement with YA Global Investments. The SEDA facility with the investment fund managed by Yorkville Advisors was first established in June. Under the facility, BiondVax can raise up to $7 million in new capital over three years with an option to further increase the facility to $15 million.
"This is an innovative form of financing in the Israeli market, and these funds will be used to bolster our already strong financial position, further securing our continued growth and development," BiondVax CEO Ron Babecoff says in a statement.  

- get the BiondVax release
- read more about the study