Vical to Receive $1 Million in NIH Grants for CMV Vaccine Development


SAN DIEGO -- Vical Incorporated announces that it has received notification of funding of approximately $1 million for research and development related to the company's plasmid DNA vaccine against cytomegalovirus (CMV) under two grants from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the

National Institutes of Health (NIH).

A six-month Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant of

approximately $300,000 will partially fund preclinical safety and toxicity

evaluation of the CMV vaccine in support of the company's planned Phase I

human trial. An 18-month research grant of approximately $700,000 will

partially fund novel assays to measure and characterize immune responses in

volunteers participating in the trial. The trial and immunological assays

will be conducted in collaboration with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research

Center in Seattle.

"We are pleased to receive notification of NIH funding to support

continued development of our CMV vaccine," said Vical's president and CEO, Vijay Samant, "which could help address the significant

unmet need to prevent this serious disease, for which no vaccine is either

approved or in late-stage development. The Institute of Medicine of the

National Academy of Sciences has estimated the annual cost of treating CMV

infection in the United States at more than $4 billion. CMV infection affects

an estimated 30 to 60 percent of the estimated 29,000 patients receiving bone

marrow or solid organ transplants in the U.S. annually, causing transplant

rejection, serious illness and even death if untreated. Expensive antiviral

drug therapy is used to control the disease, but does not prevent or eliminate

the infection. CMV infection causes severe consequences in about 3,600

infants and death in about 400 each year in the U.S. We look forward to

beginning our initial clinical trial in healthy volunteers in 2004."

Vical 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 include DNA vaccines for infectious diseases or cancer, in

which the expressed protein is an immunogen; cancer immunotherapeutics, in

which the expressed protein is an immune system stimulant; and cardiovascular

therapies, in which the expressed protein is an angiogenic growth factor. The

company has retained all rights to its internally developed product


Source: Vical Incorporated

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