Immune Design scores with MedImmune pact; Malaria vax in 2011?;

Vaccine Research

> Seattle vaccine upstart Immune Design scored a $212 million licensing deal and some important industry cred with its new pact giving MedImmune the right to use its adjuvant in new vaccines. The deal includes an upfront and various milestones, but the biotech didn't offer any details. News

 > The ancient scourge malaria remains one of the biggest killers of children in the world. In 2011, we may finally get a vaccine. In the culmination of over 50 years of research, researchers could get final results  from giant trials in Africa of the world's first malaria vaccine around the end of next year.  The vaccine, from GlaxoSmithkline, started with research at New York University, was tested by Army researchers in the 1980s, before being picked up by Big Pharma. Report

> LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals has announced positive results from a Phase I/II challenge study of its norovirus virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate. Baylor College of Medicine's Robert Atmar, the study's principal investigator, shared data from the trial via an oral presentation at the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) 2010 Annual Meeting on October 23 in Vancouver, British Columbia. LigoCyte release

> Antigenics could easily have thrown in the towel on its immune boosting therapy for cancer. But now the Lexington, MA-based biotech company, with the help of one of its main backers at UC San Francisco, is gearing up to run a significant trial to see if its lead therapy has a shot as a treatment for brain cancer. Article

Vaccine Market

> AstraZeneca has announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use issued a positive opinion on the marketing authorization application for Fluenz influenza vaccine (Live attenuated, nasal), its nasally administered live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) for prevention of seasonal influenza. The CHMP issued its opinion for marketing this product in Europe for children 24 months to less than 18 years of age. AstraZeneca release

> Last fall the nation seemed to be on the brink of a vaccine crisis. Production delays led to shortages of the new H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine. Surveys found that people were confused about who needed that vaccine and who needed the regular annual flu shot. Despite all this, last year's pandemic immunization program was the largest the U.S. has ever seen. More important, research conducted during and after last fall's flu season suggests that the vaccine is quite safe and effective. Report

> GlaxoSmithKline isn't cutting prices just in the developing world. The drugmaker has slashed the price tag on its cervical cancer vaccine Cervarix by 30 percent in Canada, hoping to boost sales volume there. News

> New Plymouth GP Peter Catt says girls are choosing to believe what they read on the Internet instead of the advice of medical practitioners when it comes to the government-funded cervical cancer vaccine. Slow uptake of the HPV immunization program led the Taranaki District Health Board to offer a catch-up program over the past two years. Catt said the message from his nurses was that girls believed what they read online about the vaccine. Story

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