Vical touts strong immune response in swine flu vax study

Vical is touting new animal data demonstrating that its experimental H1N1 vaccine produced a strong immune response against three distinct strains of swine flu. And it's rushing ahead in an attempt to gain additional funds for early-stage human trials, which could start weeks after the money is available.

While most countries around the globe are looking to a lineup of major manufacturers for the swine flu vaccine they'll need this fall to combat the pandemic, Vical and other developers have been hard at work on new technologies that could offer a fresh supply of H1N1 vaccine to fill the huge gap that's likely to develop between supply and demand. "The inherent speed of our DNA vaccine platform both in initial development and manufacturing could be extremely important in addressing the potential shortfalls of conventional vaccine approaches," said Vical CEO Vijay B. Samant in a statement.

Vical is working with the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center on its new swine flu vaccine. "We are working with the U.S. Navy to secure funding to advance our H1 vaccine into human clinical testing," added Samant. "Based on the sustained threat from the ongoing H1N1 pandemic, we have initiated critical-path manufacturing activities to allow initiation of a Phase I trial in as little as four to six weeks after funding is secured."

- check out the Vical release