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MedImmune's FluMist Update

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:44 pm    Post subject: MedImmune's FluMist Update Reply with quote

People who have underlying illnesses can't take FluMist," Schaffner said. That would appear to rule out one of the groups the CDC committee targeted for H1N1 vaccination: those between 25 and 64 who have chronic medical conditions.

The company has produced more than 20 million bulk doses of the vaccine, well above the 12.8 million ordered so far by the US government, and has the capacity to make 205 million bulk doses,

The company has the capability to put only 41 million doses in sprayers, so it is looking into the possibility of using droppers instead-an option that would require additional regulatory review but may permit making more vaccine available sooner.

Sanofi Pasteur, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and CSL Biotherapies—have reported that their virus yields so far have been half or less of what they usually get when growing seasonal flu vaccines. (Yesterday an HHS official said yields have improved somewhat, but gave no details.)

Three of the manufacturers (Sanofi, Novartis, and GSK), when contacted recently by CIDRAP News, declined to say how many doses they expect to make or how many have been ordered by HHS.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Novartis is responsible for 45% percent of the supply, while Sanofi will provide 26% and CSL will make 19%.

FluMist gets a yield of about 80 doses per egg for this strain, and normally the seasonal strain has a yield of 60 to 100 doses per egg.

The injectable-vaccine makers reportedly have been working with a strain developed at New York Medical College. MedImmune developed its own strain, combining genes from a wild-type H1N1 virus with the "backbone" genes of the virus used in FluMist.

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