Australian Nobel Laureate Barry Marshall — lauded for his discovery of the stomach-dwelling bacterium Helicobacter pylori's role in gastritis and peptic-ulcer disease — plans to put the bug that made him famous to use in science's battle against the flu, Bloomberg reports. By mid-2013, Marshall said he expects the biotech firm he founded, Ondek Ltd., to report results for a clinical trial of a drinkable flu vaccine. Researchers aim to use the vaccine "to harness the ability of the bacterium … to colonize the stomach," such that its "harmful genes will be removed and those from influenza and other viruses will be inserted to stimulate an immune response," according to Bloomberg. In a preliminary study, Marshall and his team showed that "some [vaccine] strains were capable of safely colonizing the gut, proving the concept is feasible," Bloomberg adds.
Jun 29, 2011