CSL Limited [ASX:CSL] (CMXHY.PK) is expected to begin the first human trials for a swine influenza (flu) vaccine on 7/22/09 in Australia. The seven-week trial will inject healthy volunteers age 18-64 as deaths, infections, and media coverage of the H1N1 virus gain momentum across the globe. The seven-week study will be closely monitored to measure the immune responses of the subjects in order to determine the optimal antigen (the substance which elicits an immune response and thus protection from the virus) dosing for the flu vaccine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that a total of 94,512 confirmed cases of swine flu resulted in 429 deaths through 7/6/09. Analysts expect CSL may post sales of $244 million (U.S. Dollars) for the Company’s swine flu vaccine, which may require two shots in order to fully protect people from the pandemic influenza virus. In the trial by CSL starting tomorrow, each volunteer will be given two shots of the vaccine at three weeks apart in order to determine the optimal dosing that generates an immune response and protection in the subjects.
Other companies which are expected to begin trials of flu vaccines in the coming weeks include Novartis (NYSE:NVS), GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), Baxter (NYSE:BAX), and Sinovac Biotech (AMEX:SVA). Also, Hemispherx Biopharma (AMEX:HEB) is scheduled to provide an update on its flu research initiatives via a teleconference on 7/22/09 at 10am (ET). There has been much discussion about the role of the Company’s Ampligen (poly I: poly C12U) in the flu pandemic as a possible adjuvant (to boost the immune response of people receiving the vaccine) to a vaccine.
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