Generex to Begin First Human Trial of Avian Influenza Vaccine
Lebanon-based trials will complement planned U.S. studies.
Generex Biotechnology reports that it will be conducting the first human trial for a synthetic avian influenza vaccine. The company entered into an agreement with the Lebanese-Canadian Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon, to conduct this clinical trial. “The trials in Lebanon will complement nicely the studies planned for the U.S.," mentions Eric von Hofe, president of Antigen Express, a wholly owned subsidiary of Generex. “We know that bird flu is a threat that shows no signs of going away soon. Coupled with the lack of any widely available vaccine, it is paramount to begin testing the synthetic vaccine being developed at Antigen Express as rapidly as possible.”
Antigen Express designed the vaccine using its platform technology and has been conducting preclinical studies since 2004. The vaccine consists of specific fragments of the H5 protein from the H5N1 influenza virus that have been modified to enhance their potency in stimulating CD4+ T helper cells. The methods for enhancing the immune stimulating potency of the fragments were developed by Robert Humphreys, founder of Antigen Express.