Human clinical trials to start on Dynavax's flu vaccine

Drug developer Dynavax has announced that human clinical trials will begin soon for its vaccine that is intended to protect against several flu strains.

The goal of the Universal Flu vaccine, which contains two conserved antigens present in all flu strains, is to enhance the efficacy of a standard flu vaccine by means of increasing antibody production.

According to the Berkeley, California-based company, the formulation of the vaccine that will be used in human testing has been identified and the first clinical trail is set to begin by midyear. The goal of the early stage clinical testing is to demonstrate that the drug candidate is safe.

The vaccine candidate has been created to protect against the three flu strains that are currently believed to be the most common for the upcoming flu season. The vaccine will not provide immunization against strains that unexpectedly develop after the vaccine is created, the company said.

Dynavax also said that its vaccine could improve the effectiveness of flu vaccines and potentially allow physicians to use smaller doses.

A worldwide supply agreement is already in place between Dynavax and the vaccines unit of Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG. Research for the vaccine has been funded by the National Institutes of Health.

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