Glaxo claims breakthrough in avian flu vaccine

GlaxoSmithKline says that is has made a "significant breakthrough" in its effort to develop a vaccine to guard against an avian flu pandemic and is on track to start making commercial quantities of the vaccine by the end of the year. Glaxo says that its vaccine contains just 3.8 micrograms of antigen, but recorded a strong immune reaction among 80 percent of the healthy volunteers taking it. That would be a significant improvement over an experimental vaccine produced by Sanofi-Aventis. Low-dose vaccines are considered key to creating a vaccine that could be produced in large enough quantities to protect large populations. "All being well, we expect to make regulatory filings for the vaccine in the coming months," said Glaxo CEO Jean-Pierre Garnier.

- read the CNN report on the vaccine