News update:Sep 4, 2006

International collaboration on bird flu vaccine

BioDiem, Nobilon and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have signed a cooperative research and development agreement to develop a cell culture candidate vaccine against avian influenza H5N1.

Australia-based pharmaceutical company BioDiem's cooperation with Dutch company Akzo Nobel's Nobilon and the CDC means that BioDiem's live attenuated intranasal flu vaccine will be advanced through pre-clinical development at the CDC's high-security laboratories.

According to experts at the World Health Organisation, a live vaccine may offer better and broader protection in the event of a pandemic outbreak of avian infleunza.

The co-operative research will generate, characterise and evaluate, in pre-clinical models, live attenuated cold-adapted influenza vaccine (LAIV) candidates against influenza A H5N1 viruses.

BioDiem CEO Tom Williams said: "It's a reflection of the potential of this live attenuated influenza technology that the CDC is contributing its resources to this program of work on BioDiem's flu vaccine. "

"This is an extremely important collaborative agreement which could prove crucial in our efforts to develop a vaccine for one of the world's leading health risks," said Toon Wilderbeek, Akzo Nobel's Board member, responsible for Pharma.

BioDiem has licensed the majority of the LAIV rights to Nobilon, which has recently received European GMP registration for its new facility in the Netherlands to begin manufacturing influenza vaccines in cell culture for clinical trials. BioDiem retains the right to license out the sales and marketing rights to the world's largest market, North America. Japanese rights are to be shared with Nobilon.

Editor WorldPoultry

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