Delivering a vaccine against an emerging pandemic flu strain requires developers to make a lot of quick decisions about dosing, use of adjuvants and other factors. With H7N9, however, China's success in limiting the virus' spread has given other countries more time to prepare.
Top 10 pharma companies by employees
Being the largest company by any number of measures--revenues, earnings, those kinds of yardsticks--is a good thing. Being the largest by number of employees is trickier, unless yours is also the largest by those other measures. As we have seen time and again in recent years in the pharma industry, having lots of employees and falling revenues is a formula that leads to layoffs. As a whole, the top 10 companies had fewer employees at the end of 2012 than at the end of 2011. Read the full report >>
With the books closed on 2012, we can confirm--as expected--that a majority of the major FDA vaccine approvals went to trivalent influenza vaccines. (The FDA is continuing this trend with the first vaccine approval of 2013 going to Flublok.) Manufacturers, after all, need to reformulate them each season. But two new quadrivalent flu vaccines from GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca also joined the ranks, scheduled to hit the market later this year. Read more >>
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On the surface, measles looks like a success story for the U.S. childhood immunization program, with vaccination rates topping targets in each of the past 5 years. Yet 2013 has seen a spate of measles outbreaks, resulting in one of the worst years since the U.S. declared it had eliminated the disease in 2000.
While there is no evidence to suggest alternative immunization schedules cut the risk of adverse events, a JAMA paper shows they do increase the likelihood of contracting disease.
Vaccines have faced heavy scrutiny in India in recent months, with the safety of pentavalent jabs and ethics of a PATH project being questioned.
Agenus has had a topsy-turvy month. Its share price fell off a cliff after the GlaxoSmithKline vaccine that uses its adjuvant failed a Phase III trial, only to rally this week on the back of news about its own clinical candidate.
Massachusetts-based biotech Visterra is preparing to move its universal influenza therapy into the clinic.
Pfizer is an unusual player in the vaccine space. It is the fourth biggest vaccine company by revenue, yet almost wholly reliant on one product--Prevnar 13. At a media event in New York this week, the company's top brass explained how they plan to build out the business in the coming years.
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Veracyte, a molecular diagnostics company, filed plans to raise nearly $75 million in a proposed IPO, becoming the latest life sciences operation this year to eye public company waters.
Bind Therapeutics, currently developing a nanotech delivery platform for cancer, raised $70.5 million in a public offering of 4,700,00 shares at $15 each. The company began trading Friday under the ticker symbol "BIND."