DNA vaccine progress

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently began a clinical trial of a DNA vaccine to treat bird-flu vaccine that can be designed and manufactured three times faster than traditional vaccines. These new DNA vaccines, which have shown promise in animals, could help researchers respond rapidly to an emerging flu pandemic.

It takes at least six months to design and manufacture a conventional vaccine. DNA vaccines, which simply consist of a gene from a virus or other infectious agent, might help researchers catch up. DNA vaccine prototypes can be made within days. Production may take another couple months for quality control.