Anthrax Vaccine Shows Promise

From Associated Press

A San Diego biotechnology company said Monday that it hoped to begin human testing of its experimental anthrax vaccine by year's end.

Vical Inc. is among several companies racing to create a better vaccine than the one now available and manufactured by BioPort Inc. of Lansing, Mich.

Vical presented data Monday that showed its novel DNA vaccine protected rabbits that inhaled anthrax, with little side effect. BioPort's vaccine requires six shots over 18 months plus an annual booster and causes some side effects.

Vical hopes to persuade the Food and Drug Administration to allow it to test the two-injection regimen on a few people.

The firm said it was discussing with the FDA whether tests on monkeys will be required first.

Vical shares rose 58 cents to $2.81 on Nasdaq.

From Associated Press

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