FluGen Secures Exclusive Rights to Novel Vaccine-Delivery Technology

Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:39am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

MADISON, Wis.--(Business Wire)--
FluGen Inc., an emerging leader in the development, production and delivery of
influenza vaccines and related products, today announced it has secured
exclusive rights to a novel, patent-protected vaccine-delivery technology being
commercialized by Madison, Wis.-based Ratio Inc. Terms of the license agreement
were not disclosed. 

The easy-to-use, disposable micro-device, roughly the size of a poker chip,
painlessly delivers seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines. At the press of a
button, a miniature fluidic pump distributes the vaccine to a set of
microneedles. These microneedles deliver the vaccine intradermally, or into the
skin, but not through it and into the muscle, like the traditional needle and
syringe do. 

The micro-device holds the potential to significantly increase vaccine
effectiveness. Seasonal influenza vaccines have shown as little as 20 to 40
percent efficacy in some patients. Intradermal delivery like that which will be
enabled by the micro-device has been shown to increase vaccine efficacy,
particularly among those 65 years and older, for whom the disease is the most
deadly. The vaccine-delivery technology also may improve vaccination rates
because of the pain-free, easy-to-use delivery it affords. More than a third of
those 65 years and older do not receive vaccinations each year, despite higher
influenza mortality rates due to age-related immune deficiencies. The
vaccination rate is even lower in younger populations. 

FluGen this year will begin pre-clinical testing of the micro-device with the
company`s cell-based trivalent influenza vaccines, or TIVs. The company
anticipates submitting an investigational new drug (IND) application for its
vaccine-loaded micro-device to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration during the
second half of 2010 and hopes to enter a Phase I clinical trial upon its
approval, by the end of 2010. 

"This exciting vaccine-delivery technology from Ratio is an important expansion
of FluGen`s product pipeline," said Paul V. Radspinner, president and chief
executive of FluGen. "It will allow the company to offer the $6-billion
influenza vaccine market not only superior vaccines, but an easy-to-use,
painless delivery technology that increases vaccine effectiveness. FluGen looks
forward to advancing this valuable product through our pipeline with one or more

FluGen also announced that it has been selected to participate in the upcoming
BIO National Venture Conference being held March 31-April 1 in Boston. Mr.
Radspinner will make a presentation on behalf of the company on March 31 at 2

About FluGen Inc.

FluGen is an emerging leader in the development, production and delivery of
influenza and related infectious disease products. The company has
differentiating technologies that enable it to create value and compete in the
large, rapidly growing influenza vaccine market. FluGen is actively advancing a
valuable product pipeline that provides the company with unique competitive
advantages and addresses significant unmet customer needs. These products
include a live attenuated vaccine candidate, a cell-line technology that
provides improved vaccine production efficiency and capacity, and a novel,
vaccine-loaded intradermal delivery technology. For more information about
FluGen, please visit our web site at www.flugen.com

About Ratio Inc.

Ratio Inc. is a medical device company developing technologies for pain-free
delivery of large molecule drugs and other biologics into the skin. Ratio`s drug
delivery system pairs an inexpensive, non-electronic pump with a microneedle
array, creating a small "patch" that can be applied to the skin like a Band-Aid.
The pump technology can be adjusted for a wide range of delivery profiles and
volumes to meet the needs of many drug applications. 

Paul Radspinner
President & Chief Executive, FluGen Inc.
(608) 442-6561
Rod Hise
The Luminis Group, Ltd. for FluGen Inc.
(608) 807-4607 

Copyright Business Wire 2009