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LIAI initiatives battle influenza; Potential bird flu treatment among their findings

currently in discussions with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about establishing a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to jointly conduct further research. Gemini's findings were presented Saturday at the 45th annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), which runs through Monday in Washington, D.C.

LIAI scientists are also engaged in other promising flu-related research, including work by scientist David Lo, M.D., Ph.D. Together with Neurome, Inc. in San Diego, Lo recently received a $3.9 million Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health grant to work on a mucosal flu vaccine that could be given orally or nasally. This needle-free vaccine delivery system would enable vaccines to be administered in any field setting without the need for complex equipment or specialized training. This would be particularly helpful for improving health in third world countries, which is the focus of the Gates grant. Along with a novel delivery system, if successful Lo's research would produce the world's first targeted mucosal flu vaccine, which would bind to specific receptors in mucosal surfaces such as airways and intestine. It is believed that such a vaccine would produce more rapid, potent and longer lasting flu protection than today's vaccines, because it would attack the virus in the mucosal linings where it enters the body. Lo said the vaccine would be designed to fight numerous flu strains, including the H5N1 avian flu.

LIAI's other major area of flu research involves studies that could lead to the development of a "universal" flu vaccine, meaning one that would protect against a broad cross section of flu viruses.

LIAI scientist Dr. Alessandro Sette, Ph.D., a renowned vaccine expert, is using powerful biomedical research tools to measure the immune response of people who have previously had the flu. His work involves comparing the various immune system reactions
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Contact: Bonnie Ward
contact@liai.org
619-303-3160
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
19-Dec-2005


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