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LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals Presents Data Showing Heterosubtypic,Protection Against Influenza Challenge With Virus-Like Particle,Immunization

BOZEMAN, Mont., May 01, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals presented preclinical data today showing that immunization with their influenza virus-like particles (VLPs) induced heterosubtypic protection in a virus challenge study. The company's data were presented by Dr. Joel Haynes, LigoCyte's senior director of vaccine development, at the Tenth Annual Conference on Vaccine Research sponsored by the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases in Baltimore.

The current influenza vaccination strategy involves immunization against hemagglutinin antigens that undergo continuous alteration in circulating influenza virus. Because the annual vaccines have to be manufactured in advance of influenza outbreaks, the unexpected emergence of a new or drifted subtype may result in a substantial reduction in protection.

LigoCyte's data show that immunization with their unique influenza H1N1-VLP formulation resulted in 100% protection against both H1N1 and H3N2 influenza challenge in preclinical studies. LigoCyte has also produced influenza VLPs carrying H3N2 and H5N1 antigens. H5N1 is the avian flu subtype that is currently circulating in bird populations and causing sporadic infections and death in humans.

"There is a great need for a universal influenza vaccine that simplifies manufacturing and delivery while enhancing protection against multiple viral subtypes," said Dr. Robert Bargatze, LigoCyte's chief scientific officer.

About LigoCyte:

LigoCyte, established in 1998, is developing a new generation of vaccines and monoclonal antibody therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases and inflammation. The company's investigational Norovirus vaccine for the prevention of acute gastroenteritis is currently in Phase I clinical studies. LigoCyte is advancing its other proprietary products into human clinical testing, positioning the company for continued growth an
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