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Flu Results Hit Iomai Stock

Trial data show its needle-free vaccine is less effective than an injection.



shares slid more than 35% in recent trading Friday after the biopharmaceutical company disclosed that its needle-free vaccine for seasonal influenza shows less of an immune response than an injection.

The Gaithersburg, Md., company said the results of the phase I clinical trial for its patch-based vaccine showed that the dry patch formulation did stimulate an immune response to three desired antigens and was well-tolerated at all dose levels. Furthermore, adding an immune-boosting adjuvant, LT, to the antigens improved the response of the patch vaccine. However, the injection was more effective in terms of immune response.

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Iomai's patch uses the same antigen as the injection, which is known as split virus. "While split-virus is the traditional approach for injected flu vaccines, such antigens may not be best suited for patch application," said Dr. Gregory Glenn, founder and chief scientific officer of Iomai. "There are a number of alternatives being tested that we believe hold great promise."

The company said its patch formulations are stable at room temperature and the process of vaccination is designed so that a patch can be self-applied.

Iomai's stock was lately $1.55 lower at $2.69.