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Novartis, Glaxo Vax Manufacturing Updates

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:12 am    Post subject: Novartis, Glaxo Vax Manufacturing Updates Reply with quote

Novartis has nabbed $486 million from the U.S. government for its flu-vaccine plant for Holly Springs, North Carolina, where it will churn out vaccine for seasonal flu and gear up for production of a pandemic vaccine. The company had already won a $220 million HHS grant for the project in 2006 and broke ground on it last May.

The $486 million, eight-year contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services covers construction and operation of the plant, the Associated Press reports. By 2012, more than 300 people will work there, trying to devise a new flu shot using cell cultures. The aim is to make it possible to quickly turn out vaccines against new strains of flu virus.

And therein lies the pandemic portion of this deal: This plant will be working toward methods that could produce 150 million doses of a new vaccine within six months. As you know, scientists have been worrying that the H5N1 avian flu might mutate into a form easily transmissible among humans

GSK unveils $300M vax facility for U.S. market push
January 8, 2009 7:32am ET | By John Carroll
GlaxoSmithKline unveiled a $300 million vaccine manufacturing facility it's developing in Pennsylvania as it gears up for a major push into the U.S. market. While a host of vaccine manufacturers have been moving outside the U.S., Glaxo says that it is moving vaccine manufacturing closer to the U.S. market, where it could more easily meet any demand triggered by a sudden flu pandemic.

"We really believe that Marietta will be a unique and premiere facility in our global network," Peter Lammers, vice president of GlaxoSmithKline's vaccine-business unit, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Twenty years ago Glaxo had only one vaccine available in the U.S. Today it has 11, including a rotavirus vaccine and the flu vaccine Fluarix. An FDA inspection of the plant is scheduled for this year and GSK says the facility will be fully operational in 2013.
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