Can biotech tackle swine flu?

As reported cases of swine flu continue to accumulate (as of today, 40 had been linkurl:reported;http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/index.htm in the US) and mainstream media outlets dust off their foreboding music tracks and positively scary taglines, a biotechnology company in Maryland says that its approach may speed development of a successful vaccine. Influenza A/South Carolina/1918 (H1N1) VLPsImage: Novavax, Inc.Researchers at Novavax have been developing vaccines for the H5N1 strain of avian flu

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Apr 26, 2009
As reported cases of swine flu continue to accumulate (as of today, 40 had been linkurl:reported;http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/index.htm in the US) and mainstream media outlets dust off their foreboding music tracks and positively scary taglines, a biotechnology company in Maryland says that its approach may speed development of a successful vaccine.
Influenza A/South Carolina/1918 (H1N1) VLPs

Image: Novavax, Inc.
Researchers at Novavax have been developing vaccines for the H5N1 strain of avian flu, along with other strains of influenza, over the past few years using an approach built around virus-like particles (VLP)--viral membrane proteins in a matrix of lipids. Researchers from the company, with scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), published a linkurl:study;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19321609?log$=activity last month in which they successfully protected mice against a reconstructed virus from the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak through intranasal immunization with H1N1 VLPs. A new strain of H1N1 is likely causing the current outbreak...




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