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GlaxoSmithKline develop vaccine

UK Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline believes it has developed a vaccine for the H5N1 deadly strain of bird flu that may be capable of being mass produced by 2007.
The vaccine has proved effective at two doses of 3.8 micrograms during clinical trials in Belgium, BBC business editor Robert Peston has learned.
It is the size of the dose that is highly significant, GSK explained.
Companies require the smallest effective dose so that they can get the maximum number of shots out of a quantity of vaccine.
"It is good news that this vaccine can produce a significant response from a relatively small dose," said Dr Donald Cutler, principal lecturer in infectious diseases at University of East London.
GSK has yet to issue the results of its tests.
The news of the work on a potential vaccine came as GSK reported its profits had risen 14% in the three months to June to £1.32bn (US$2.4bn).
Delivery
GSK said that governments could order the vaccine for delivery and stockpiling in early 2007.
One of GSK's main rivals, the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Aventis, has also been working on a vaccine.
Drug companies are looking to develop treatments because of concerns that the H5N1 virus will combine with a human flu virus and mutate into a form, which can spread between humans.
But a few firms, including GSK, are seeking to develop vaccines based on the existing H5N1 strains to give humans some form of protection.
Its vaccine is on a fast track for approval with ... continue > 


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Published: 27 July 2006      Ref: BBC News

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