Synthetic Genome Vaccines

News, Science — By on February 2, 2011 at 4:15 am

Novartis AG agreed to use technology from Synthetic Genomics Vaccines Inc., a company run by genome pioneer Craig Venter, in an effort to cut the time needed to develop influenza shots. Novartis and San Diego-based Synthetic Genomic Vaccines will work together to create so-called seed viruses, templates from which large amounts of vaccine are created, Novartis said in a statement today.

Novartis hopes to reduce the time needed to start vaccine output by two months, which is critical in the case of a flu pandemic, the company said.

Venter is best known for his privately backed race in 2000 against the publicly funded Human Genome Project to decode the entire human genetic blueprint. The teams shared credit for the milestone.

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