Fri Feb 1, 2013 10:38am AEDT
Bird flu vaccination efforts are being stepped up. Photo: Researchers are hoping to find the smallest dose of the vaccine needed for human protection in order to create a stockpile as insurance against a global bird flu pandemic. (Lateline)
Map: Sydney 2000
Researchers in Newcastle are doing their bit to help protect the world against a potentially deadly outbreak of the bird flu virus.
Only about 600 people worldwide are known to have had the virus but it carries a mortality rate of three in five.
That has got the United States government concerned and it is funding a global vaccine project being trialled in humans.
Newcastle's Hunter Clinical Research is one of the centre that has been chosen to take part.
It is looking for volunteers to undergo human trials of an H5N1 vaccine which could be stockpiled in readiness for a global pandemic.
Principal researcher, Dr Marc Russo, says the vaccine trial is important, despite there being no imminent threat from bird flu.
"The insurance policy is that should there be a mutation in the virus, and the virus does undergo regular mutation," he said.
"If it does mutate and we get human to human transmission then we would be looking at millions of infections and potentially a very large number of deaths."
Researchers are hoping to find out the smallest dose of the vaccine needed for human protection.
Your little $1.80/share biotechie not only doesn't have a vaccine available for use, but it's light years away from one. In fact, as I predicted years ago, it is not likely that an NVax vaccine will ever see its way to a shelf anywhere, ever. But still you thump the table, scream at the trees, and believe somewhere in that empty soul of yours that this pig is going to make you rich. It isn't.
" A Broadmeadow-based medical practice has been chosen as one of four sites in Australia to be part of a global trial of a bird flu vaccine.
Hunter Clinical Research, a private clinical trial practice, is looking for 140 healthy people to help #$%$ the lowest possible effective dose of a new vaccine.
The United Nations wants to get 1billion vaccines stockpiled in case the H5N1 virus mutates enough to enable it to spread from human to human.
At present it only spreads from birds to humans.
In November last year, 50,000 chickens had to be culled near Maitland after contracting bird flu, not the H5N1 strain, but cases of the deadly strain continue to arise globally.
Dr Marc Russo, who runs a pain management clinic at Broadmeadow, established Hunter Clinical Research as an arm of his practice in 2006, to allow patients access to some of the experimental drugs being trialled to treat chronic pain.
The clinical trials outlet was so successful, it now runs up to 15 various trials a year, but the avian flu vaccine trial is a major coup."
cklau, after some DD, I could not find anything more about the H5N1 trials. The question is, would nvax want a human trial of its experimental H5N1 vaccine or better still would BARDA insist on one? If you know more, please post it.
I do not recall who was in charge of the quadrivalent seasonal flu clinical in Australia, but if it was Hunter then I would conjecture nvax's H5N1 developmental vaccine would be one of the vaccines being trialled.