y Vical Inc. (NASDAQ:VICL), of San Diego, has granted Merck andCo. Inc. (NYSE:MRK) an option for an exclusive license to use Vical'sproprietary gene-based vaccine technology for development of atuberculosis vaccine. In addition, Merck exercised its options to licenseVical's technology for use with hepatitis C and human papilloma virusvaccine, and extended its options to do so for hepatitis B and herpessimplex viruses. Merck paid Vical $2.3 million for these rights and willmake milestone and royalty payments for licensed vaccine productsthat Merck develops.y Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco have foundthat a recently discovered blood protein (interleukin 12) can boost theimmune function of human fetal cells in the test tube, reinforcing theprotein's potential value as a treatment for AIDS. The work is beingfunded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health and the PediatricAIDS Foundation.

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