Vical Incorporated (Nasdaq:VICL) announced today that the company has extended its relationship with the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) to develop its platform technology for the rapid development and production of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases.
Vical received U.S. government funding from Defense Threat Reduction Agency and NMRC in 2010 to support development of its Vaxfectin®-formulated DNA vaccine against H1N1 pandemic influenza, which is expected to complete Phase 1 testing in the first quarter of 2011. With additional funding under the extended relationship, Vical will work with NMRC under this contract to establish systems and procedures for the application of Vical's DNA delivery technology, with the goal of protecting military personnel from the threat of new pathogens in the early stages of outbreaks.
"Vical's technology is designed to allow extremely rapid and safe vaccine development without direct handling of the pathogen," said Larry R. Smith, Ph.D., Vical's Vice President of Vaccine Research. "We were the first company to produce a vaccine against H1N1 swine-origin influenza during the 2009 outbreaks, and were able to initiate animal testing within two weeks of the influenza virus gene sequence selection. Based on our development speed with the H1N1 vaccine and the successful Phase 1 clinical testing of our H5N1 avian-origin influenza vaccine, we believe our DNA vaccine platform and Vaxfectin® adjuvant are ideally suited to provide rapid protection against novel pathogens. We are pleased to collaborate with NMRC in establishing an emerging disease vaccine platform for military personnel, which may eventually be useful for the broader population."