British pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said on Wedensday it hopes to release a mass- produced vaccine against bird flu next year following successful clinical trials at the Ghent University of Belgium.
GSK said the vaccine against the dangerous H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus proved effective in 80 percent of patients during trials at the Ghent University Hospital.
The firm could then obtain permission for the production of the vaccine by the end of this year if clinical tests are convincing, local news agency Belga reported on Wednesday.
The trial showed that 80 percent of the 400 healthy Belgian patients (aged between 18 and 60) who were given a small dose of the vaccine had a strong immune reaction.
"These excellent clinical trial results represent a significant breakthrough in the development of our pandemic flu vaccine," GSK chief executive JP Garnier said.
"This is the first time such a low dose of H5N1 antigen has been able to stimulate this level of strong immune response."
It is reported that work is being carried on more than 30 prototype vaccines all around the world.
Since 2003, some 133 people have died from the bird flu virus.