Vical hired Mammen P. Mammen Jr for just this event. If we don't see some actionable response by Vical to this outbreak then his hiring was a complete waste. Where is Vical's high profile response to this outbreak?
I can't imagine that traditional vaccines, no matter how difficult they are against this, would not beat out Vical's technology given that DNA vaccines as a class are not yet widely accepted. What are your thoughts on the probability of a pDNA based vaccine making it through governmental acceptance? It may also depend on if H7N9 develops into a dangerous pandemic, which I am not rooting for. I would rather that we all made our money for curing thousands of melanoma and head and neck cancer cases than an influenza outbreak that kills millions, it has killed a quarter of those known to be infected in a country where there are bound to be many cases undetected at present. One of the main variables you need in terms of epidemiology for rapid disease transmission is population density, the higher the density of suitable hosts, the faster a communicable disease spreads.
I do not want to see the H7N9 flareup turn into a pandemic either. However, what I want will not influence reality. Sooner or later we will see an influenza pandemic, and I expect it will be sooner rather than later. I think it is unavoidable with the current population density of humans in the world, many in third-world countries.
What I hope is that the emergence of such threats will result in governments developing methods for rapid response by whatever methods are available, probably using DNA vaccines, but not necessarily. If Virus-Like Particle technology produces better immune response than pDNA vaccines (maybe so, although better evidence is needed) and if VLP-based vaccines can be produced quickly enough (which I doubt) then VLPs may be the way to go.
Should a pandemic arise with death as the outcome in roughly 20% of the cases, a pDNA-based vaccine will be immediately acceptable given no alternative vaccine. In many countries, even if other vaccines were in available in limited supply, a pDNA vaccine would be accepted on the basis of quick availability and low cost. What might happen in the US is more difficult to predict but I would hope that the FDA would take a pragmatic approach under emergency circumstances.