Articles by Nick Paul Taylor
In the first 5 months of 2013, 857 deaths were reported in countries under enhanced surveillance.
Stockpiling vaccines requires authorities to peek into the future. When H1N1 was causing panic in 2009, the U.S. predicted it would need 160 million vaccine doses. But demand never took off, and the U.S. destroyed 40 million out-of-date vaccines in 2010.
Dynavax saw its share price tumble in November after FDA advisers suggested its hepatitis B vaccine needed more data to support approval. FDA rejection followed in February, sending shares down still further. Now the stock has dropped for a third time.
The 2013-14 flu season is set to be the most closely watched in years. In February, FDA cleared the use of quadrivalent vaccines which protect against two A and two B strains. GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca began gearing up, and Sanofi will now join them too.
The lung cancer vaccine race has brought together an unusual mix of players. Merck KGaA was in a good position, but its vaccine disappointed in Phase III, while GlaxoSmithKline could report data on its candidate this year. Then there is the Cuba-Argentina joint venture.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge are talking up the potential of a vaccine to stop traveler's diarrhea.
The FDA has lifted the clinical hold on PharmAthene's anthrax vaccine candidate, SparVax.
At the cancer conference ASCO, researchers reported weak Phase III results for a telomerase peptide vaccine, GV1001, in pancreatic cancer patients. Most other cancer vaccines presented at the conference are at earlier stages of development.
In 2007, Merck spent $100 million promoting its human papillomavirus vaccine, Gardasil. The advertising blitz helped sales top $1 billion, but earnings fell away quickly over the next few years. Many people are critical of the vaccine, but lots more simply do not know it exists.
The deal has the backing of the three largest shareholders, and Novavax expects to close the takeover by the end of next month. With the deal, Novavax gets ownership of a proprietary adjuvant technology it can use in vaccine candidates for pandemic flu, rabies, respiratory syncytial virus in the elderly, foot-and-mouth and other diseases.