ARTICLE | Product Development

Spawning success

August 1, 2005 7:00 AM UTC

More than a decade after DNA vaccines emerged as a novel therapeutic genre, two such products have received marketing approval just days apart, albeit for disease prevention in horses and salmon. Vical Inc., which out-licensed the salmon product, believes the approval validates its technology and is looking to build on its argument with a Phase II proof-of-concept trial of a bivalent vaccine to treat cytomegalovirus infection in humans.

Unlike traditional vaccines that use dead or attenuated virus, DNA vaccines are made up of plasmids containing the genes for one or more antigens. The viral antigen is produced by the patient's cells and transported to the cell surface where it induces a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response (see BioCentury, June 19, 2001)...