Vical raises $20M for vaccine programs

With its researchers preparing to start human testing on an A/H1N1 vaccine, San Diego-based Vical said that Special Situations Fund had agreed to invest $4.6 million in the company, adding to the $15.4 million that the company raised last week from Federated Kaufman and another investor. Special Situations Funds and Federated Kaufman have been two of the company's biggest backers.

Vical plans to use the money to fund its ongoing vaccine development programs. On a separate note, Vical is planning to gear up its manufacturing to make enough swine flu vaccine to start a human trial involving U.S. Navy personnel.

"The ongoing H1N1 influenza outbreaks remain a focal point of international discussions regarding the need for and feasibility of producing an H1 vaccine," said Vical CEO Vijay Samant. "We have already demonstrated the speed of our technology by producing an H1 vaccine and initiating animal testing while others are still assessing the situation."

- read the report from Xconomy

ALSO: The World Health Organization has zeroed in on a California variant of swine flu that vaccine makers should consider when making a new vaccine. WHO pinpointed A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)v virus as a common variant found in swine flu cases around the world. CSL says that it plans to use that variant when it begins producing a new jab for human testing next week. Report 

PLUS: Also in the race to produce a new vaccine is Vaxart, which says it has alreadys tarted animal testing on a new jab. The first human batch could be ready as early as August. Report

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