flu vaccine

Latest Headlines

Latest Headlines

Roche increases Tamiflu production tenfold

Roche announced today that it will increase production of its anti-flu vaccine Tamiflu to 300 million units per year by 2007, up tenfold from 2004 when Roche first decided to step up manufacturing of the drug. With countries stockpiling the Tamiflu in the event of a pandemic, Roche has been under pressure to license out production of the vaccine and has already been approached by 150 drug makers interested in acquiring the license.- read this AP report

Novartis considers opening vaccine plant in US

The CEO of Novartis said that the company would consider building a vaccine production plant in the US. Chiron is the only major US producer of flu vaccines, and Novartis' plan to buyout Chiron could leave the US heavily reliant on foreign companies to provide flu vaccines. Novartis won approval this week to buy the 58 percent of Chiron that it does not already own. If plans are made to open a new factory, Novartis will be looking for incentives from the government such as tax breaks. …

Novartis gains support for $5.1B bid for Chiron shares

Novartis has won over Chiron's board of directors with a sweetened offer of $5.1 billion for the 58 percent of the company's shares it doesn't already own. The bid increases Chiron's offer to $45 per share, up from $40. Novartis plans to inject fresh capital into Chiron's troubled vaccine business, increasing capacity and resolving quality issues once and for all. Chiron has been reeling since British regulators shut down its Liverpool facility after discovering contamination. Chiron was …

Chiron falling short on vaccine supply

Hit with production delays and problems triggered by new technology and processes adopted by its flu vaccine production facility, Chiron announced that it will not be able to meet its forecast 18 million to 26 million doses of its Fluvirin vaccine for the coming season. Company officials did not estimate how much they could ship. Chiron had already cut its forecasted production of vaccine earlier in the year. Depending on just how far off the company is, the US could once again face a …

FEATURE: Health officials keeping fingers crossed on vaccine supply

Flu season is upon us, and health officials are keeping their fingers crossed that this year will play out without any of the sudden vaccination snafus that have roiled the healthcare system in years past. This year, health officials believe the US will need about 90 million doses of flu vaccine to satisfy demand, and vaccine manufacturers have assured the Centers for …

Chiron gets fed OK to ship Fluvirin

Chiron finally received FDA approval to ship its first three lots of flu vaccine. It is the last of the vaccine makers to get the green light to begin supplying vaccine to the market. Chiron has said that it will ship 18 million to 26 million doses this fall after being forced to sit out last flu season after regulators determined that its Liverpool facility had been contaminated.- read this report from the …

Flu vaccines losing ability to ward off disease

In a new study published in the Lancet, flu vaccines appear to be significantly less effective among the elderly than had been believed. One reason for the diminished effect in preventing hospitalizations, researchers concluded, is that seniors' immune systems have been seriously eroded. In another study just out, a class of vaccines called adamantanes has registered a sudden jump in germ resistance.- read this story from the Washington Post for more

DEALS: Novartis angling for Chiron buyout

Novartis angling for Chiron buyout

GSK grabs ID Biomedical for $1.4B

GlaxoSmithKline has struck a deal to buy ID Biomedical in an all-stock deal valued at $1.4 billion. The acquisition gives GSK operations in Canada and the US gearing up to produce 75 million doses per year of fluviral vaccine. GSK officials said the acquisition will help the company prepare for a global flu pandemic. This deal also marks another big step in the shakeout of the world's vaccine makers, with Novartis in hot pursuit of a Chiron acquisition. "GSK has moved quickly over …

Drug makers to supply US with up to 97M doses of flu vaccine

Up to 97 million doses of flu vaccine should be available in the coming season. The bigger supply marks a substantial turnaround from last year, when regulators shut down Chiron's Liverpool facility and cut off half of the nation's vaccine supply. The CDC estimates that Chiron will deliver 18 million to 26 million doses; Sanofi Pasteur will produce 60 million shots; GlaxoSmithKline will ship 8 million doses of its new vaccine; and MedImmune expects to sell 3 million doses of its nasal …