Vaxart receives NIH grant for avian flu vaccine

SAN FRANCISCO While H1N1 swine flu has hogged most of the publicity in the last few months, another potentially deadly form of the flu has not disappeared: the H5N1 avian flu.

San Francisco-based biotechnology company Vaxart announced that the National Institutes of Health had given it a $2.8 million grant to support the development of an orally administered vaccine for the highly pathogenic strain of the H5N1 flu that emerged in Asia in 2004 and has resulted in the deaths of approximately 60% of people infected.

“We thank the NIH for funding the further safety and efficacy tests, which, along with our previous successful animal studies, will pave the way towards clinical trials,” principal investigator Sean Tucker said in a statement.

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