Swine flu study in Tri-State - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Swine flu study in Tri-State

By Dan Wells - email | bio

CRESTVIEW HILLS, KY (FOX19) - The U.S. government is investing in a new technique for making flu vaccines that it hopes will help the nation respond quickly to outbreaks such as the H1N1 swine flu virus.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Tuesday her department had awarded a $35 million contract to privately held Protein Sciences Corp Inc of Meriden, Connecticut, to use its new gene-based techniques to develop a vaccine and test it in clinical trials.

If testing goes well, the contract could be expanded over five years for a total of nearly $150 million.

"The technology has advanced in recent years to a point that we believe it could help meet a surge in demand for U.S.-based vaccine for seasonal and pandemic flu," Sebelius said in a statement.

"We want to use the technology to help our nation respond to emerging infectious diseases."

The United States has set aside $1 billion dollars for a vaccine to combat the H1N1 strain that has caused a global pandemic.

There's a test spot for that vaccine right here in the tri-state.

"We're excited here at our office, we have been contacted to be one of the sites of the initial vaccines that will be on-going.... there aren't that many sites and we're excited to be one of those." - Dr Chris Cunha, Pediatric Associates of Northern Kentucky.

Cunha says vaccine makers are developing H1N1 vaccine pilot lots that will be used for that testing starting next month.

If you would like to be a part of this study call Pediatric Associates of Northern Kentucky at 859-341-5400. You do not have to be a patient with the group.

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