Israel Radio reported Sunday morning that an Israeli company had developed a universal vaccine for all forms of flu – including bird and swine flu – and shares of Rehovot-based BiondVax trading on the Tel Aviv stock exchange went through the roof. But the ardor of investors was tempered somewhat when the company announced that it had not yet tested its vaccine on swine flu, nor had it conducted tests on pregnant women – one of the groups that is most susceptible to the disease, and for which developing a vaccine has been more difficult.But it is not only Israelis who are working on a generalized cure for the flu. At least one Arab claims to have a cure as well.
Nevertheless, the company says its universal multi-season/multi-strain flu vaccine will greatly enhance the average person's immune system, enabling patients to receive a single shot once every few years that will protect them against most forms of influenza. It turns out that most strains of flu have characteristics similar enough to enable development of one vaccine that contains the elements of the flu virus' downfall.
(By the way, Biondvax shares, only traded on the Tel Aviv Exchange, are unbelievably volatile, with a 52-week low of 20 and a high of nearly 950. Right now it is at about 410.)