H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Vaccine updates, sick pig inspectors, antiviral resistance, first pandemic death in Hungary

first_imgJul 22, 2009Australia, China launch novel H1N1 vaccine trialsTwo Australian pharmaceutical companies said they began human trials this week of their pandemic H1N1 vaccines, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. CSL, based in Melbourne, said it hoped that results will allow release of the government-contracted vaccine in October, and Vaxine said it hoped to have results in 6 to 8 weeks. Meanwhile, two Chinese companies said they launched clinical trials of novel H1N1 vaccines, Xinhua reported today. They are Hualan Biological Engineering and Sinovac.Glaxo issues vaccine update, triples Relenza productionIn an update on its pandemic activities, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said in a press release today that it is talking with regulatory agencies about testing its pandemic H1N1 vaccine, which consists of antigen and its AS03 adjuvant, to be combined before administration. The firm said its first orders will be delivered to countries in September, but the delivery pace will depend on production yield. GSK also said it tripled production of its antiviral drug, zanamivir (Relenza).[Jul 22 GSK press release]Sanofi set to launch human vaccine trialsAn official from Sanofi Pasteur today said the company would begin human trials of its pandemic H1N1 vaccine in early August and expects to have a vaccine ready by November or December, Bloomberg News reported today. The clinical trials, which could last about 2½ months, will take place in the United States, France, and one other European country. The company said it doesn’t know yet how much antigen will be needed for each dose.[Jul 22 Bloomberg News story]Canadian inspectors got sick after exposure to infected pigsThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency said yesterday that two of its employees contracted the novel H1N1 virus during their investigation earlier this spring of an Alberta pig herd that had the virus, the Calgary Herald reported yesterday. The employees reportedly removed their protective masks, contrary to recommended procedures, in the hog barn after their equipment fogged up. They got sick within days of their exposure to the virus in the barn.Canada, Japan find new oseltamivir-resistant casesCanada reported its first and Japan its second case of oseltamivir (Tamiflu)-resistant pandemic H1N1 flu, the Canadian Press reported today. The Canadian patient is a 60-year-old Quebec man who was treated with the drug, and public health officials said it appears to be an isolated incident. The Japanese patient is from Yamaguchi and received the drug as postexposure prophylaxis. The patient’s virus was sensitive to zanamivir, and officials said there was no sign of additional spread.Hungary reports first pandemic H1N1 deathHungary today reported its first novel H1N1 death, in a 41-year-old man who had underlying heart and lung problems, Reuters reported. The country has so far confirmed 37 cases, and two patients are hospitalized with mild illnesses.[Jul 22 Reuters story]last_img

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