from the March 2006 issue

NasVax finishes animal trials on flu vaccine

NasVax finishes animal trials on flu vaccine for a product that delivers the influenza vaccine intranasally. The trial was carried out by the British firm Retroscreen Virology on weasels, which are considered one of the best animals on which to test influenza vaccines. The trial included a control group, which did not receive

the vaccine, a group that received a commercial influenza vaccine via intrasmuscular injection, and a third group that received the vaccine administered intranasally using the NasVax technology. The weasels were exposed to the flu virus 28 days after receiving the vaccination, and then examined for the drug's effectiveness. Retroscreen's trial report notes that the intranasally administered vaccine was found effective at reducing flu symptoms as judged by measuring the animals' body weight, body temperature, and the amount of influenza virus found in their nasal cavities.

Based in Herzliya, Nasvax is a private company held by the Meytav Technological Incubator (32 percent), Prof. Yechezkel Barenholz (9.9 percent), Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (6.5 percent), and Pontifax, which is headed by Teva Chairman Eli Hurvitz (9 percent). Human trials of the technology are also being carried out to determine whether the technology is safe to use. According to NasVax CEO Itzik Goldwaser, the 100-subject trial that began last October and will end in April.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report March 2006

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