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St. Jude develops vaccine against potential pandemic influenza virus H5N1 using reverse genetics

ease."

Key to the quick success in developing the vaccine was the on-campus availability of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) facilities, which are equivalent in quality to those used by pharmaceutical companies to make biological agents such as vaccines. In addition, the centralization of genetic analysis and other molecular biology work, performed in the Hartwell Center for Bioinformatics and Biotechnology at St. Jude, greatly accelerated the process of building the vaccine components.

"We've been lucky twice with H5N1--once in 1997 and once so far during this current outbreak--in not experiencing human-to-human transmission," Webster says. "But the mixing bowl in Hong Kong is still stirring up new variations of familiar viruses. Although we just made a vaccine against one of that mixing bowl's nasty viral brews, SARS shows us there's always another threat down the road."


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Contact: Bonnie Cameron
bonnie.cameron@stjude.org
901-495-4815
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
2-Apr-2003


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