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Feb 12, 2007

Avant and Select Vaccines Partner on Viral Vaccines

  • Avant Immunotherapeutics and Select Vaccines will jointly focus on R&D efforts for the use of Select Vaccines’ virus-like particles (VLPs) as a platform technology for the development of viral vaccines. They will initially target the development of vaccines against influenza, including both epidemic and pandemic forms of vaccine. The companies may expand the collaboration to other disease targets.

    “Select Vaccines’ novel virus-like particles, due to their specific size, have the potential to generate stronger immune responses than current VLP-based vaccines,” explains Una S. Ryan, Ph.D., president and CEO of Avant.

    “The Select Vaccine technology is particularly promising for addressing viral disease targets, which complements Avant’s bacterial vaccine pipeline and allows Avant to more fully address the total vaccine market, which industry experts estimate will exceed $20 billion by 2010,” remarks Dr. Ryan.

    Avant will make an upfront equity investment in Select Vaccines and fund influenza vaccine R&D for two years, as well as provide milestone payments. It will gain the exclusive right to apply Select Vaccines’ technology to a second target within the next two years and a third target within the next three years.

    Select Vaccines will also be eligible to receive royalties based on net sales of any approved products arising out of this collaboration that are successfully marketed.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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