In an unusual and possibly coordinated move, four Japanese flu vaccine makers hiked retail prices by 50% just ahead of the season when most Japanese start receiving their jabs, officials told the Japan Times.
China-focused Sinovac Biotech was named one of four companies selected to supply more than 1 million doses of flu vaccine to the Beijing government's seasonal prevention campaign in a further lift for domestic sourcing and a growing vaccine industry in the country.
Novavax is making waves in the influenza space, reporting positive Phase II results for its quadrivalent seasonal flu vaccine on Thursday.
Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical has reached an agreement to distribute Kaketsuken's influenza vaccine domestically in the 2015-2016 season as the government makes a major push to cover the elderly population.
Novartis is in the process of trying to hive off its flu vaccines business after selling off the rest of its vax unit to GlaxoSmithKline. But first, it may have to deal with an Italian fraud investigation over pricing on a pair of those products.
In 2009, Sanofi made its play for the seniors flu vaccine market by introducing Fluzone High-Dose. After running a trial of 30,000 people aged 65 and older, the company is ready to go back to FDA to seek a new label for the vaccine.
GSK will begin adding 2-D barcodes to its Fluarix Quadrivalent 4-in-1 influenza vaccine, which the FDA cleared for shipping on Monday. Over the next 6 months GSK will add the barcode technology to the packaging of more vaccines.
Flu has always presented a moving target for developers, with rapid evolution keeping viruses one step ahead of vaccines. In pandemic flu, mutations could turn a relatively benign virus into one that is more virulent, capable of spreading from human to human or resistant to drugs.
After winning FDA approval for its influenza vaccine in January, Protein Sciences was faced with a problem: how to wrest market share from competitors. The task is complicated by the fact that, as yet, there is little evidence to show it is more effective than rivals.
GlaxoSmithKline is suing Hospira for more than $25 million in damages over the quality of influenza vaccine supplies for the U.S. market. In the lawsuit, GSK alleges that Hospira hit quality problems and cancelled the contract three years before it was due to end.