UCL News


Appeal for help to fast-track new vaccine

9 November 2005

British scientists are working on a radical vaccine that could protect the entire population within three months of a flu pandemic hitting the country.

The DNA-based vaccine would take just a week to develop once the strain of the deadly flu emerged.

It would then take little more than two months to manufacture the vaccine and distribute it to the whole population, half the time it would take to develop and distribute existing types of vaccine.

Dr Clive Dix, head of PowderMed, which is working with University College, London researchers, claimed the vaccine could be ready in two years with help from the government.

He said: "We are convinced this will be part of the government's armament because of the ease of manufacture and because it is far more reliable."

The Department of Health, which is in charge of procuring a vaccine for the whole of the UK, said: "We have been in talks with PowderMed. The technology is very promising but is in the early stages of development."
Louise Gray, 'The Scotsman', 22 October 2005