Friday, June 12, 2009

Reuters: Novartis eyes rapid H1N1 vaccine production

Novartis AG has produced a first batch of a vaccine to fight the H1N1 flu outbreak, will start clinical trials in July and expects to be able to ramp up manufacture rapidly.

The first results achieved with H1N1 wild type strain showed that it was quicker to make the vaccine through cell-based production compared to egg-based manufacturing, the Swiss drugmaker said in a statement Friday.

'Novartis has successfully completed the production of the first batch of influenza A(H1N1) vaccine, weeks ahead of expectations,' it said, adding it expects to get a license in the autumn.

'Cell-based manufacturing technology allows vaccine production to be initiated once a pandemic virus strain is identified without the need to adapt the virus strain to grow in eggs, as with traditional vaccine technologies,' the group said.

'This advance has cut weeks off the time required to begin vaccine production,' Novartis said."

Reuters: Novartis eyes rapid H1N1 vaccine production

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