Viragen shares surge on avian flu results for Multiferon

Viragen of Plantation, FL, announced that an in-vitro study of its drug Multiferon shows that it may work against the avian flu virus H5N1. The Southern Research Institute conducted the early-stage study, concluding that it appeared more active than other products that are being used to combat the virus. Viragen said the results make Multiferon a prime candidate for further study. "Multiferon may represent a different approach to treatment in that it has been shown to exhibit rather broad anti-viral activity," says Viragen CEO Charles A. Rice. "I can also confirm that separate studies are ongoing in a variety of other emerging viral threats in cooperation with a number of independent investigators."

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ALSO: The news left investors scrambling to buy Viragen stock, sending shares up more than 20 percent late Friday after the company announced the results. Report

PLUS: The US is unprepared for an avian flu pandemic and won't be able to produce sufficient quantities of a vaccine for three to five years, according to the blunt assessment of HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt. Report

FINALLY: Veterinarians warn that Chinese vaccination teams sent to eradicate the avian flu virus may well end up spreading the disease if they aren't extremely careful. Article