LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals Presents Data Showing Heterosubtypic Protection Against Influenza Challenge With Virus-Like Particle Immunization

BOZEMAN, Mont., May 01, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals presented preclinical data today showing that immunization with their influenza virus-like particles (VLPs) induced heterosubtypic protection in a virus challenge study. The company's data were presented by Dr. Joel Haynes, LigoCyte's senior director of vaccine development, at the Tenth Annual Conference on Vaccine Research sponsored by the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases in Baltimore.

The current influenza vaccination strategy involves immunization against hemagglutinin antigens that undergo continuous alteration in circulating influenza virus. Because the annual vaccines have to be manufactured in advance of influenza outbreaks, the unexpected emergence of a new or drifted subtype may result in a substantial reduction in protection.

LigoCyte's data show that immunization with their unique influenza H1N1-VLP formulation resulted in 100% protection against both H1N1 and H3N2 influenza challenge in preclinical studies. LigoCyte has also produced influenza VLPs carrying H3N2 and H5N1 antigens. H5N1 is the avian flu subtype that is currently circulating in bird populations and causing sporadic infections and death in humans.

"There is a great need for a universal influenza vaccine that simplifies manufacturing and delivery while enhancing protection against multiple viral subtypes," said Dr. Robert Bargatze, LigoCyte's chief scientific officer.

About LigoCyte:

LigoCyte, established in 1998, is developing a new generation of vaccines and monoclonal antibody therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases and inflammation. The company's investigational Norovirus vaccine for the prevention of acute gastroenteritis is currently in Phase I clinical studies. LigoCyte is advancing its other proprietary products into human clinical testing, positioning the company for continued growth and success in the biotechnology industry. For additional information on LigoCyte, please visit www.ligocyte.com. Binding Science. Better Medicine.

This work is supported by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command under Contract Nos. W8IXWH-05-C-0135. The views, opinions and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official Department of the Army position, policy or decision unless so designated by other documentation. In conducting research using animals, the investigator(s) adhered to the "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals," prepared by the Committee on Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources, National Research Council (NIH Publication No. 86-23, Revised 1985). In conducting work involving the use of recombinant DNA the investigator(s) adhered to Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules; Notice, Federal Register, July 5, 1994, Volume 59, Number 127.

CONTACT: Karen Sipes, Ph.D., Director, Marketing & Communications ofLigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc., +1-406-556-9228, karen.sipes@ligocyte.com

Web site: http://www.ligocyte.com/

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Posted: May 2007

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