Merck extends Idera collaboration; HIV vaccine failures point to future success; Adults shun flu shot

Vaccine Research

Merck has extended its research collaboration with Idera for an additional year. The two companies inked an exclusive license and research collaboration agreement to research, develop and commercialize vaccine products containing Idera's investigational agonist compounds targeting Toll-like Receptors (TLR) 7, 8, and 9 in the fields of oncology, infectious diseases and Alzheimer's disease in December 2006. Release

Inovio Biomedical says that its partner, Tripep AB, reported positive additional interim results from its ongoing phase I/II clinical study of its therapeutic DNA vaccine against hepatitis C virus. Release

The failure of major research programs involving a potential HIV vaccine has helped researchers focus their work on important issues. And those insights will be key to getting a vaccine that truly works. Report

The failure of the latest HIV vaccine from Merck is analyzed in two articles in an upcoming edition of The Lancet. Story

Some 16,000 African children are being recruited for a clinical trial of a new malaria vaccine. "This is probably going to be one of the largest studies in infants and in children in Africa." says Joe Cohen, a vaccine researcher at GlaxoSmithKline. Story

Vical says it has completed enrollment of subjects in a Phase II trial of its therapeutic DNA vaccine designed to prevent cytomegalovirus reactivation and disease in immunosuppressed stem cell transplant recipients. Release

Vaccine Market

Almost half of all U.S. adults say they won't get a flu shot this year, citing reasons that range from "I don't get sick" to an erroneous belief that the vaccine triggers the flu. Story

Despite a slate of studies that demonstrate seniors get little or no protection from currently available flu shots, a number of experts in the field continue to insist that people over the age of 65 should be vaccinated. Report

The Wall Street Journal looks at who is likely to benefit most from Zostavax, the only vaccine on the U.S. market for shingles. Article

A genetically modified canarypox virus vaccine has been approved for use in horses in New Zealand. Story