Ghent scientists develop flu vaccine
First tests on humans of a new flu vaccine tdeveloped by scientists Ghent have produced positive results7 January 2008 - The first tests on humans of a new flu vaccine that has been developed by scientists in the East Flemish city of Ghent have produced positive results. A report in the dailies 'Gazet van Antwerp' and 'Het Belang van Limburg' says that 90% of people given the new jab produced enough anti-bodies to prevent them from getting the flu. Furthermore, they suffered no side-effects.
Ghent professors Walter Fierens and Xavier Saelens say that the vaccine is a great breakthrough.
The tests on the vaccine are being carried out by the Anglo-American bio-technology firm Acambis that is cooperating with the two scientists and their teams at Ghent University and the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology.
Acambis will publish the initial test results on Thursday 10 January.
The new vaccine will offer life-long protection from all variants of the classic A strain flu Virus, thus making annual flu jabs a thing of the past.
Furthermore, the vaccine could also be used in the event of a flu pandemic, a worldwide flu outbreak that could cost tens of millions of lives.
The next stage of the testing should confirm beyond doubt whether the vaccine would protect people in the event of a flu epidemic.
Professors Saelens and Fierens told the papers that on the basis of what they already know, there is a real chance that the second series of tests will also prove successful.