Sanofi's H5N1 vaccine shows promise

French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis said that early stage trials of its experimental avian flu vaccine have produced promising results, triggering a good immune response in trial participants. The latest version of the vaccine appears to work well at low dosages, a sign that plans to stretch the available supply developed by public health officials could work. Officials admit that the vaccine will need to be tweaked to offer protection against a new strain of the H5N1 virus if a pandemic does break out, but having a workable vaccine on hand will make the process much faster. Rival vaccines are under development at GlaxoSmithKline and Chiron.

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