updated 2/22/2011 6:45:27 AM ET 2011-02-22T11:45:27

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 22, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vical Incorporated (Nasdaq:VICL) announced today that the company has extended its relationship with the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) to develop its platform technology for the rapid development and production of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases.

Vical received U.S. government funding from Defense Threat Reduction Agency and NMRC in 2010 to support development of its Vaxfectin®-formulated DNA vaccine against H1N1 pandemic influenza, which is expected to complete Phase 1 testing in the first quarter of 2011. With additional funding under the extended relationship, Vical will work with NMRC under this contract to establish systems and procedures for the application of Vical's DNA delivery technology, with the goal of protecting military personnel from the threat of new pathogens in the early stages of outbreaks.

"Vical's technology is designed to allow extremely rapid and safe vaccine development without direct handling of the pathogen," said Larry R. Smith, Ph.D., Vical's Vice President of Vaccine Research. "We were the first company to produce a vaccine against H1N1 swine-origin influenza during the 2009 outbreaks, and were able to initiate animal testing within two weeks of the influenza virus gene sequence selection. Based on our development speed with the H1N1 vaccine and the successful Phase 1 clinical testing of our H5N1 avian-origin influenza vaccine, we believe our DNA vaccine platform and Vaxfectin® adjuvant are ideally suited to provide rapid protection against novel pathogens. We are pleased to collaborate with NMRC in establishing an emerging disease vaccine platform for military personnel, which may eventually be useful for the broader population."

About Vical

Vical researches and develops biopharmaceutical products based on its patented DNA delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. Potential applications of the company's DNA delivery technology include DNA vaccines for infectious diseases or cancer, in which the expressed protein is an immunogen; cancer immunotherapeutics, in which the expressed protein is an immune system stimulant; and cardiovascular therapies, in which the expressed protein is an angiogenic growth factor. The company is developing certain infectious disease vaccines and cancer therapeutics internally. In addition, the company collaborates with major pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies that give it access to complementary technologies or greater resources. These strategic partnerships provide the company with mutually beneficial opportunities to expand its product pipeline and address significant unmet medical needs. Additional information on Vical is available at www.vical.com .

The Vical Incorporated logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=5768

This press release contains forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Risks and uncertainties include whether Vical will receive all, if any, of the U.S. government funding; whether funding will be sufficient to complete the planned preparatory efforts; whether Vical or others will continue development of any emerging disease vaccine candidates; whether the company's Vaxfectin® adjuvant will be used in any future vaccine candidates; whether future infectious diseases will emerge, and if so, whether DNA vaccines will be successfully applied against them; whether the H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine or any other product candidates will be shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials; the timing, nature and cost of clinical trials; whether Vical will further extend its collaboration with the U.S. government; whether the planned preparatory efforts will have applicability for the broader population; whether Vical or its collaborative partners will seek or gain approval to market any product candidates; whether Vical or its collaborative partners will succeed in marketing any product candidates; and additional risks set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent the company's judgment as of the date of this release. The company disclaims, however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: Alan R. Engbring
         (858) 646-1127
         Website:  www.vical.com

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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