Saturday, March 14, 2009

Antibodies Offer a New Path for Fighting Flu

Researchers from Harvard Medical School, the CDC, and the BuAdd Videornham Institute for Medical Research have engineered antibodies that protect against many strains of the influenza virus, including even the 1918 Spanish flu and the H5N1 bird flu, which could potentially lead to the development of a flu vaccine that would not have to be changed yearly. And, the antibodies already developed could be injected as an effective treatment, unlike drugs such as Tamiflu. Researchers estimate that the necessary clinical trials to prove that the antibodies are safe in humans could begin within three years. The researchers have the support of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where they have been offered grants and access to its ferrets, which can catch human flu.

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