IMU 2.20% 44.5¢ imugene limited

new bird flu strain detected, page-2

  1. 192 Posts.
    30 OCTOBER 2006

    Avian influenza vaccine efficacy trials to begin late November
    US poultry trials for the two avian influenza vaccine candidates
    Sydney, Australia: Imugene Limited (ASX:IMU) has finalised arrangements to
    commence the efficacy trials for its new avian influenza vaccine candidates. The initial
    trial in poultry will be undertaken by Benchmark Biolabs Inc at its state of the art high
    level containment animal trial facilities in the United States.
    The trial is scheduled to commence by the end of November 2006 with expected
    completion during January 2007. Results should be available shortly thereafter.
    Benchmark Biolabs is a specialist contract research provider with clinical trial facilities
    located in the US Midwest. The Nebraska clinical facility is an approved Animal and
    Laboratory Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory and trial facility making it one of the few
    locations worldwide that can undertake animal trials with infectious agents such as avian
    The trial will determine the ability of the vaccine candidates to protect chickens against
    infection with the deadly bird flu virus. Imugene Managing Director, Dr Warwick Lamb
    said, “We have evaluated a number of potential trial facilities around the world and have
    chosen Benchmark Biolabs because of its commercial approach and expertise. Recently
    Imugene moved into our own laboratories and successfully completed the construction
    of the avian influenza vaccine candidates.”
    “To ensure our trials are conducted precisely to trial parameters and reliable timelines
    Imugene has moved the trial site to Benchmark Biolabs. This will add momentum and
    lead to greater international recognition of the trial result.”
    About the Imugene avian influenza vaccines
    Imugene has developed two different avian influenza vaccines for poultry. One is for the
    broiler (chicken meat) market and the other is for the breeder and egg layer markets.
    The trial vaccines both utilise Imugene’s proven Fowl Adenoviral Delivery Vector
    technology to deliver the necessary genetic material to stimulate a bird’s immune system
    to protect against the bird flu virus.
    The two vaccine candidates differ as the commercial requirements for broilers and
    breeders or layers vary. The primary aim for a commercial bird flu vaccine for broilers is
    to provide immunity early in a bird’s life but the protection need only be short term as
    broiler birds typically reach market weight by 42-49 days of age. Layer birds and birds
    used for breeding stock for the broiler market require longer lasting immunity.
    Page 2 of 3
    The vaccine designed for layers and breeders uses two antigens (rather than the single
    antigen used in the broiler vaccine) to elicit both antibody and cell mediated immunity.
    The vaccine candidates have been thoroughly verified by a series of in-house and
    external tests.
    Major advantages of the Imugene vaccine candidates
    An effective vaccine could be used to protect the world’s poultry industry from further
    avian influenza outbreaks and halt the spread towards Australia, Europe and the US. A
    viable vaccine to control outbreaks must be safe, effective and able to be quickly and
    easily administered on a large scale.
    The Imugene vaccine candidates use technology that allows authorities to differentiate
    between infected and vaccinated birds, a vital consideration for the international poultry
    The vaccine candidates deliver only a portion of the flu genetic material instead of the
    whole virus. This makes the Imugene vaccines safe by preventing mutations or
    recombination with human flu viruses.
    The vaccine candidates generated using the Imugene delivery system are very cost
    effective for mass administration to entire poultry sheds and do not require injection of
    each bird.
    The vaccine candidates are specific to the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, but can be
    easily and quickly adapted to protect against other strains of influenza.
    The advantages of the Imugene vaccine solve the limitations of existing vaccines and
    About Benchmark Biolabs
    Benchmark Biolabs Inc, based in Lincoln, Nebraska, is a privately held contract service
    provider serving the life science industry. Benchmark’s customers include traditional
    and non-traditional biologics firms seeking technology development in a compliant
    environment. Benchmark has developed particular capabilities for the application of
    creative scientific solutions to address product development needs along a defined
    regulatory pathway for conventional and novel technologies.
    Benchmark Biolabs provides support to the animal health and life sciences industries by
    offering contracted services in the areas of laboratory services, clinical and pre-clinical
    studies, regulatory services and compliance, and small-scale manufacturing. Benchmark
    also provides business development and general management services to those clients
    in emerging businesses. Benchmark’s staff of scientists and professionals has an
    outstanding track record for bringing leading edge technologies from concept to the
    laboratory to the marketplace.
    The National Center for Import and Export (NCIE) has approved Benchmark’s Nebraska
    clinical facility to the required Animal and Laboratory Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) status.
    NCIE requires BSL-3 status for research involving certain infectious agents, including
    avian influenza.
    For procedures involving manipulation of infectious materials scientists conduct
    procedures within biological safety cabinets or other containment devices.
    Page 3 of 3
    Personnel wear protective clothing and equipment, and the laboratory includes special
    engineering and design features to ensure microorganisms are contained within the
    According to Dr Tom Overbay, Director, Business Development, “The BSL-3 approval
    recognises Benchmark has the facilities, personnel and procedures to work safely with
    and contain pathogenic agents.”
    There are very few BSL-3 approved facilities within North America, a deficit which has
    impeded research efforts aimed at addressing important infectious disease threats,
    including avian influenza.
    About Imugene
    Imugene specialises in commercialising animal health products for production animals
    including pigs and poultry.
    Imugene owns the worldwide rights to the Fowl Adenoviral Vector Delivery System for
    poultry and the Porcine Adenoviral Vector Delivery System for pigs. Imugene has
    successfully licensed the first product based on the Fowl Adenoviral Vector Delivery
    System – the Poultry Productivity Enhancer.
    Imugene's poultry and pig portfolio is targeting a worldwide US$3 billion annual market
    with four lead vaccine products under development and a strong product pipeline.
    Consumer demands for disease free and residue free food will bolster Imugene's
    Imugene's products safely prevent disease and reduce or eliminate antibiotics and
    harmful chemicals in animals. Animal antibiotics and chemicals in the human food chain
    have been linked to the emergence of dangerous resistant bacteria in people and food
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