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IR BioSciences Announces Promising Data from Study of Its Compound,Homspera

Data Suggests Homspera Shows Promise As an Adjuvant for Vaccines against Avian Flu and Other Viruses

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., May 07, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- IR BioSciences Holdings, Inc. announced today that preliminary data from its influenza vaccine adjuvant study being performed in conjunction with GenPhar Inc. indicates Homspera elevates host immune responsiveness above that induced by vaccine alone system. These results are from an ongoing study, and are a strong indication that Homspera may demonstrate adjuvant capabilities, and thus be capable of augmenting host immune system responsiveness to vaccines for diseases such as pandemic avian influenza, seasonal influenza, and perhaps others for which vaccines exist or are under development.

Adjuvants are common additions to vaccine formulations, as they enable the vaccine to induce a strong immune reaction in vaccinated individuals, helping to ensure adequate immunological protection.

The Homspera studies, being carried out by GenPhar, examine the impact of vaccination with pieces of influenza viruses (a current H5N1 "avian influenza" strain and from the 1918 Spanish Influenza virus). A fear of many scientists and public health officials is that the current avian influenza endemic to Southeast Asia may mutate sufficiently to become more easily transmitted among humans, yet maintain its highly pathogenic nature. Such an event, centered on the virus currently exhibiting mortality in infected humans of approximately 50%, can trigger a rapid global spread of highly pathogenic virus with disastrous consequences.

Vaccines against avian influenza are not available in volumes needed to inoculate a significant percentage of the world's population. Similarly, the most effective prophylactic or therapeutic drug, oseltamivir (Tamiflu(R), Roche), is reportedly not being stockpiled in amounts adequate to provide protection to the at-risk population.
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