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 But demand never took off, and the U.S. destroyed 40 million out-of-date vaccines in 2010.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.
A lack of collaboration and information-sharing aided the spread of SARS--with China coming in for criticism--and this experience reshaped how the world handles pandemic threats.
From 2000 to 2011, the proportion of religiously exempt children in New York rose from 23 in 10,000 to 45 in 10,000. In 2000, four counties had religious exemption rates of more than 1%. By 2011, 13 counties had reached this level.
The strain of bird flu has shown resistance to Roche's antiviral Tamiflu for the first time.
The history of science is filled with seemingly random events that led to breakthroughs. Now it might have another. A meeting with Bill Gates has inspired a pandemic flu gene therapy.
The World Health Assembly met last week with the backdrop of worries about pandemic viruses. In Saudi Arabia the coronavirus death toll is rising, and H7N9 is active in China. The outbreaks--and the global response--put the pandemic influenza preparedness (PIP) framework in the spotlight.
Things happen quickly when China coordinates the cogs of its state infrastructure. One year ago a state-funded vaccine for one cause of hand, foot and mouth disease reported Phase I data. Phase II results followed in January, and now Phase III data has arrived.
From 2009 to 2011, 25 adults developed narcolepsy in Finland, 18 of whom had received GSK's swine flu vaccine, Pandemrix.
Last month's cancellation of the largest ongoing HIV vaccine trial stopped yet another promising candidate. The growing pool of clinical failures shows that a new approach is needed. This past week, academia offered up two new angles of attack.
Reuters has looked inside the Pfizer lab tasked with developing a vaccine for the drug-resistant superbug MRSA.
A universal flu vaccine is the holy grail of influenza immunizations. The yearly process of making educated guesses about the upcoming flu season would end, replaced by a vaccine for many of the strains. It is a massive challenge, but one that Sanofi and others have taken up.