Vical Inc. researches and develops biopharmaceutical products based on its patented DNA delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. Potential applications of the company’s DNA delivery technology would include DNA vaccines for infectious diseases, in which the expressed protein is an immunogen. An immunogen is a substance that prompts the generation of antibodies and causes an immune response.

DNA vaccines in general can prime the body’s immune system as well as induce potent antibody and T-cell immune response. These vaccines contain no viral particles, are non-infectious, and can be administered on a repeat basis without unwanted immune responses. DNA vaccines are also more cost effective than conventional vaccines and can be manufactured using uniform methods of fermentation and purification, allowing significantly faster development and production.

Vical announced today the issuance of a US patent covering Vaxfectin – formulated DNA vaccines for influenza. This patent adds to the company’s family of patents based on the company’s technologies.

The new patent granted to the company broadly covers DNA vaccines formulated with any cationic lipid/co-lipid adjuvant formulations from the class including Vaxfectin and targeting any strain of influenza, whether they be seasonal or pandemic. The company also has additional issued patents covering the composition and use of the Vaxfectin adjuvant.

Vical is currently developing Vaxfectin-formulated DNA vaccines for both H5N1 avian-origin and H1N1 swine-origin pandemic influenza. Vaxfectin-formulated H5N1 influenza DNA vaccines completed Phase 1 human testing in 2008.

Both vaccines are formulated with the company’s Vaxfectin adjuvant, a novel lipid-based formulation which has demonstrated significant immune-enhancing ability with a broad range of DNA vaccines and up to 30-fold immune-enhancing ability with a conventional seasonal influenza vaccine.