The share price of BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (TASE:BNDX) jumped 7.2% by mid-afternoon to NIS 0.67, giving a market cap of NIS 36 million, after announcing that biological and other tests found that its universal flu vaccine matches all six potentially pandemic flu strains in the world today. The tests compared the vaccine elements and the elements contained in new avian influenza strains, which have managed to infect humans, and some of which are lethal.
Until lately, the strains H5N8, H6N1, H7N7, H7N9 and H10N8 infected only birds and hence, were not considered dangerous for human, but they all now infect humans. In 2003-13, the bird flu H5N1 virus infected 648 people, 384 of whom died. The H7N9 virus was identified in China and since March 2013 has caused the death of 33% of the people infected.
BiondVax says that its ongoing investigations found that the small pieces contained in its universal flu vaccine are a good match for all of these new strains. The vaccine was designed to contain small pieces of the flu virus that do not change as they are required for the virus’s lifecycle. These small pieces are enough to teach the human immune system to recognize all flu strains, so that the body quickly stops the virus from causing illness. Based on these findings, BiondVax anticipates that the universal vaccine, when the development stage is completed, will be broadly effective against present and future strains in contrast to current vaccines that are strain specific.
"These data are exciting and support the universality of BiondVax's vaccine against strains emerging in the world, seasonal or pandemic. Today as people are constantly travelling, there are no natural borders that stop diseases from spreading across the globe. We need a new kind of flu vaccine that works against all flu strains and BiondVax has the solution in hand," says BiondVax chief scientist Dr. Ben-Yedidia.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 21, 2014
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