SAN DIEGO, April 27, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vical Incorporated (Nasdaq:VICL) announced today that more than half of the subjects in the Phase 1 trial of the company's Vaxfectin®-formulated vaccine for H1N1 pandemic influenza generated neutralizing antibodies of the type expected to provide protection against the disease. The vaccine was well-tolerated. Vical was the first company to manufacture a vaccine against the H1N1 influenza virus and the first to conduct animal testing during the 2009 outbreaks, and these latest results demonstrated the safety and immunogenicity of that same vaccine in humans.
The trial was supported by U.S. government funding from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC), and was conducted in collaboration with NMRC. Vical announced in February that it had extended its relationship with NMRC to develop the company's platform technology for the rapid development and production of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases. With additional funding under the extended relationship, Vical will work with NMRC under this contract to establish systems and procedures for the application of Vical's DNA delivery technology, with the goal of protecting military personnel from the threat of new pathogens in the early stages of outbreaks.
"We clearly demonstrated the speed and safety of our approach during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza outbreaks," said Larry R. Smith, Ph.D., Vical's Vice President of Vaccine Research. "The encouraging results of our Phase 1 clinical testing of our H1N1 vaccine, coupled with the successful Phase 1 clinical testing of our H5N1 avian-origin influenza vaccine, provide further validation for both our vaccine platform and our Vaxfectin® adjuvant. Through our collaboration with NMRC, we are working toward establishing an emerging disease vaccine platform to provide rapid protection against novel pathogens, initially for military personnel and eventually for the broader population."
Vical researches and develops biopharmaceutical products based on its patented DNA delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. Potential applications of the company's DNA delivery technology include DNA vaccines for infectious diseases or cancer, in which the expressed protein is an immunogen; cancer immunotherapeutics, in which the expressed protein is an immune system stimulant; and cardiovascular therapies, in which the expressed protein is an angiogenic growth factor. The company is developing certain infectious disease vaccines and cancer therapeutics internally. In addition, the company collaborates with major pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies that give it access to complementary technologies or greater resources. These strategic partnerships provide the company with mutually beneficial opportunities to expand its product pipeline and address significant unmet medical needs. Additional information on Vical is available at www.vical.com.