In an announcement full of surprises from Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, the sale of the Swiss company's vaccines division to Glaxo may have been the least surprising part.
A couple of weeks back, the Street was abuzz that Merck would hand over its consumer-health business for Novartis' animal-health and vaccines units. Yesterday, word was that Merck has some consumer-goods giants shopping its consumer-health aisle.
Chinese regulators do not posses a sterling reputation in their home country, having been caught unprepared as one health scare after another has panicked the population. So when reports began surfacing that children were dying from hepatitis B vaccinations, drug and health regulators sprang into action, launching a probe and putting a hold on millions of doses from the leading hep B vaccine maker.
The report this week that Novartis' vaccine and diagnostic operation is one the company's execs might want to unload will not surprise employees at its Emeryville, CA, operation, where four dozen workers on the vaccine side have been given layoff notices.
It offers enough protection to slash the number of cases in infants for a time, a new study shows.
Will a new generation of flu shots pay off big for vaccine makers? We'll soon find out. As Reuters reports, several top drug companies are rolling out vaccines that fight four strains of influenza, rather than the usual three. And they're expecting to sell those vaccines at a big premium.
Sanofi's high-dose formulation of Fluzone scored in a new trial in seniors. The study pitted Fluzone High-Dose against the regular formula and found that the amped-up version offered 24% better protection in patients 65 and older.
GlaxoSmithKline may be suffering through a corruption scandal in China, but that hasn't interfered with its plans to team up with a Chinese company on vaccines. Its talks with potential partners are still on track, Christophe Weber, GSK's vaccines chief, told Bloomberg.
The French drugmaker is believed to have the lead candidate in the race for the badly needed vaccine and is making it known that it has started up production so it can have the potential blockbuster ready to go, assuming it gets approval in the next two years.
Alleged links between vaccines and the nerve-degenerative disorder Guillain-Barré are among vaccine safety fears. A new study shows that any link between them is not strong enough to outweigh the benefits of vaccines.