Chiron won a $62.5 million federal contract Thursday to help produce a vaccine to counter the threat of a bird-flu pandemic.
The contract is the second-largest award for bird-flu vaccines announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Last month, the agency awarded $100 million to Sanofi-Aventis of France.
Source. Also in the news, GLAXOSMITHKLINE claims it is close to an H5N1 vaccine:
Glaxo also said it will start tests on humans within weeks for its prototype pandemic vaccine, which uses the H5N1 bird flu strain spreading from Asia to Europe, and will file for regulatory approval immediately if the trials are successful.
[...] Jean-Pierre Garnier, Glaxo's chief executive, said the company had found a way of using an adjuvant, or additive, to expand the amount of vaccine from a given batch of antigen.
"We've been at it for several years now, and this gives us good hope for the last bit that remains to be done to come up with a 'shotgun' vaccine on H5N1, " he said.
Glaxo. which is also expanding flu vaccine factory capacity, will start clinical tests of its prototype H5N1 vaccine within weeks, and expects to have results available in the second quarter of next year, allowing it to file for regulatory approval later in 2006.
"Once the vaccine is approved we will be able to produce very large quantities, " Garnier said.
Read more at Red Nova.