H5N1 vaccine succeeds in Phase 1 clinical trials
H5N1 is a flu virus normally found in birds and domestic poultry that rarely infects humans. There is always a possibility for a mutated strand, however, that could cause a pandemic.
The Infectious Disease Research Institute, a non-profit research organization based in Seattle, along with Medicago, Inc., announced the findings on April 17.
"These positive U.S. clinical trial results confirm that our H5N1 vaccine candidate is the best in class in our opinion, positioning Medicago as a significant player in the global pandemic market," Andy Sheldon, the president and CEO of Medicago, said. "The robustness of our H5N1 vaccine coupled with our rapid speed of production, offers a vastly improved solution in preparing for and managing potential pandemics. We also believe that our H5N1 vaccine with alum is the only alum-adjuvanted pandemic vaccine to achieve the three CHMP immunogenicity criteria."
The clinical trial focused on safety. After testing on various patients in different areas of the U.S., the vaccine was found to be safe and well tolerated by the human body. The vaccine was initially made to protect against the Indonesian influenza virus, but was soon found to have a great effect on the H5N1 virus as well.