Avian Flu Vaccine Successful in Mice

February 12, 2008
BioPharm International Editors

A vaccine against the most common and deadliest strain of avian flu, H5N1, has produced a strong immune response in mice and protected them from death following infection.

A vaccine against the most common and deadliest strain of avian flu, H5N1, has produced a strong immune response in mice and protected them from death following infection. The vaccine, engineered by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Vaccine Research (Pittsburgh, PA) and Novavax, Inc. (Rockville, MD), is now being tested in humans in an early-phase clinical trial.

Unlike other avian flu vaccines, which are partially developed from live viruses, this vaccine uses a virus-like particle, or VLP, that is recognized by the immune system as a real virus but lacks genetic information to reproduce, making it a potentially safer alternative for a human vaccine. Because of the evolving nature of H5N1, the vaccine was engineered to encode genes for three influenza viral proteins to offer enhanced protection against possible new strains of the virus.

Novavax release (PDF)

Related Content:

News