Novavax's swine flu jab effective in animal study

Novavax has released the results of an animal study that demonstrates the effectiveness of its new vaccine against swine flu.

The biotech company has been on a roll in recent weeks, and it shows no signs of slowing down. In just a few weeks it was able to take a sample of the swine flu virus and make a new vaccine using its virus-like particle technology. And working with scientists at the CDC in Atlanta, Novavax proved that the vaccine could protect ferrets, which are often used in vaccine tests.

"It demonstrates what might be possible in the next pandemic"--or in this one if the virus became much more lethal and the government deemed it an emergency, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Penny Heaton told the Associated Press.

"The ferrets received a 3.75, 7.5, or 15 microgram dose of the 2009 H1N1 virus-like particle vaccine or a placebo and were boosted with a second dose after three weeks," the company said in a statement. "By day five after challenge, immunized ferrets at all vaccine dose levels had cleared the H1N1 virus and showed no sign of disease. In contrast, control animals that received no vaccine displayed lethargy, elevated body temperatures and shed infectious virus for up to six days post-infection."

- check out the press release
- read the Reuters story 
- here's the piece from the AP