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PowderMed seeks permission to test bird flu vaccine in humans

PowderMed Ltd. applied to U.K. authorities for permission to start testing a vaccine against avian influenza in humans. PowderMed Ltd., which makes genetic vaccines shot into the skin on tiny gold particles, applied to U.K. authorities for permission to start testing a vaccine against avian influenza in humans. The vaccine, which PowderMed says has shown a 100% protection response in experimental tests, will be given to adult volunteers at a research clinic in London, the Oxford- based company said in an e-mailed statement today. “This is an exciting opportunity for PowderMed to conduct the first clinical trial on a vaccine which may have a very important role in the event of a future pandemic,” the company said in the statement. Closely held PowderMed is working to develop vaccines that can be made quickly, and will be easy to administer in the event that a new flu virus emerges in humans and sweeps around the world in a lethal pandemic. The vaccines work by blasting genes through the skin into human cells, which then make immune system-stimulating proteins that prepare the body for a viral attack. (Bloomberg)