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NIH funds advanced development of 3 biodefense vaccines
Date:10/7/2010

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced three new contracts to fund research on vaccines to protect against emerging infectious diseases and biological threats that could be used in a terror attack. Each project focuses on simple and efficient vaccine delivery approaches that could be deployed quickly. The total funding for the three contracts could reach $68 million, depending on the successful completion of defined project milestones.

"These new contracts build on NIAID's commitment to support the advanced development of products that are important to the public health but often unattractive to investors in private industry, by bridging the funding gap with contracts intended to address specific health needs," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

The three studies will focus on a dengue vaccine delivered by a needle-free device, an anthrax vaccine delivered orally and an anthrax vaccine delivered in conjunction with an adjuvanta compound that stimulates the immune system.

"Our goal is to improve vaccine delivery and the resulting immune response in a way that could be used to protect large numbers of patients," said Michael G. Kurilla, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Office of Biodefense Research Affairs in NIAID's Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

The dengue vaccine is being developed by Inviragen Inc. of Fort Collins, Colo. The vaccine is tetravalent, or designed to protect against any of the four related viruses that cause dengue fever. A needle-free system, developed by PharmaJet of Golden, Colo., will be used to deliver the liquid vaccine through the skin at a high speed. Researchers anticipate that protection will be possible with one to two doses. The NIAID award will support clinical testing of the vaccine product. While tetravalent dengue vaccines previously have reached clinical trials, the manufacturing p
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Contact: Nalini Padmanabhan
padmanabhannm@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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