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    Novel Flea Vaccine Research Achieves Milestone

    Document date: Thu 08 May 2003 Published: Thu 08 May 2003 14:15:54
    Document No: 237324 Document part: A
    Market Flag: N
    Classification: Progress Report

    HOMEX - Perth


    Australian biopharmaceutical group Imugene announced today the
    successful completion of Stage One of the research and development of
    a novel flea vaccine. The research being undertaken in conjunction
    with Murdoch University, has met the first of three scheduled
    milestones and work has commenced on the second and third stages.

    Managing Director, Dr Warwick Lamb said: "The research team have
    successfully identified the potential vaccine candidates and narrowed
    the choice from more than thirty five down to three. These three
    vaccine candidates are now in Stage Two where they will be validated
    by a separate method. At the same time, Stage Three early vaccination
    trials have been commenced in parallel, to ensure the shortest
    possible time to completion of the research."

    The vaccine concept is unique in the world flea control market
    because it seeks to kill fleas on dogs or cats using biological
    methods instead of chemicals. The aim of the vaccine is to create an
    immune response in the animal's blood, so that when a flea bites and
    feeds on the blood, it will die.

    "The vaccine will give pet owners a non-chemical alternative without
    having to worry about applying powders and rinses" said Dr Lamb. "All
    that will be required is an injection administered by the
    veterinarian at the animals routine annual visit."

    "Flea allergy dermatitis is the most prevalent skin disease in pet
    animals in many parts of the world and accounts for up to half the
    number of the visits to the veterinarian" he said.

    Imugene Executive Chairman Graham Dowland said: "The global market
    for flea control products is in excess of US$1.5 billion per annum.
    An efficient biological vaccine has the potential to immediately gain
    a large share of this market from the current 'over the counter
    chemical treatments. Initial estimates also indicate that the flea
    vaccine will be a very high margin product."


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