Intercell vaccine patch fails PhII trial

Intercell's investigational vaccine enhancement patch system for avian H5N1 influenza has failed a Phase II study. The company is working under a contract with HHS to develop a dose-sparing approach with potential for a single dose immunization combining a H5N1 vaccine with Intercell's LT adjuvant patch.

The mid-stage study was designed to determine the safety and the optimal combination/dose of an injectable H5N1 influenza vaccine and Intercell's VEP applied at the injection site. A total of 500 healthy adults were recruited in six study groups. However, the study failed to identify the optimal combination because no statistically significant difference in seroprotection rates was observed when comparing groups with and without VEP, according to an Intercell release.

Intercell intends further evaluate its VEP in combination with an injectable H5N1 vaccine to be supplied by GlaxoSmithKline, according to a company statement. HHS and Intercell are currently considering the next steps for this development program.

The company's stock was trading 4.1 percent lower after earlier tumbling more than 7 percent, prompting some investors to doubt the technology behind the vaccine, Reuters notes. "Investors could be worried that this special technology, which is a vaccine patch rather than normal shots, does not work," Unicredit analyst Katharina Kastenberger says, as quoted by Reuters. "But they have another product in the pipeline that also uses the patch technology and that has passed the Phase II stage, so this shouldn't be a concern. This is a good time to buy the stock as its so cheap," Kastenberger adds.

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