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EU bank backs flu vaccine

The European Investment Bank is providing a €20-million loan to support the development of a universal vaccine against influenza infection.

The money will be used to launch phase-3 trials of a vaccine candidate designated M-001, which is aimed at protecting against both seasonal and pandemic flu viruses. Earlier trials carried out in collaboration with UNISEC, an consortium funded by Framework programme 7, found that M-001 is safe in humans.

The loan, to BiondVax Pharmaceuticals, was authorised by the EIB today. Ambroise Fayolle, an EIB vice-president, said in a statement that the loan showed the bank’s “strong willingness to create optimal conditions” for clinical research. Ron Babecoff, chief executive of BiondVax, described the loan as a “monumental step forward” for the company.

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