Universal flu vaccine shows early promise

Acambis has stirred a significant amount of buzz with some early-stage human data demonstrating the effectiveness of its universal flu vaccine. In the trial, nine out of 10 people developed flu-fighting antibodies. Researchers are currently working on an improved formulation to take the vaccine into even larger trials. If they are successful, Acambis will be able to deliver one shot that can not only replace the hit-or-miss annual flu jab, but offer a way to combat a potential avian flu pandemic. They're promising to do it by taking a dramatically new approach, concentrating on the stable M2 protein that can be found on all A-strain flu viruses.

"As a universal vaccine, ACAM-FLU-A can potentially overcome many of the drawbacks of existing influenza vaccines," Dr. Michael Watson told the BBC. "It can be manufactured at any time of the year, and could be stockpiled in advance of a pandemic or potentially used routinely to ensure population protection against future pandemics."

- here's Acambis' release on the data
- read the report from the BBC

ALSO: Making a universal flu vaccine is no easy business, but the stakes here are huge. Article

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