Friday, September 30, 2005

Bird Flu (there is a vaccine)

There's a lot of discussion this morning about Bird Flu. Sanofi Pasteur says it is producing a vaccine (not developing, but producing) in accord with a $100 million government contract. The contract also is for storing the vaccine.

Lyon, France and Swiftwater, PA (USA) – [September 15, 2005] – Sanofi pasteur, the vaccines business of the sanofi-aventis Group (NYSE: SNY), has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to produce doses of a vaccine to help protect against the H5N1 influenza virus strain, the so-called avian strain. Scientists believe the H5N1 strain could become the cause of a global influenza pandemic.

The contract is another major effort by sanofi pasteur to support efforts in both the U.S. and Europe to prepare the world for the possibility of an influenza pandemic.

The $100 million contract calls for sanofi pasteur to manufacture the vaccine in bulk concentrate form at its U.S. headquarters in Swiftwater, PA from early September through late October. The agreement provides for additional fees to be paid to sanofi pasteur for storage of the vaccine as well as for formulation and filling of the vaccine upon government request.

Here's a link to the complete press release

The real fun of a pandemic will begin when there is not enough vaccine for everyone, but an effective vaccine for the chosen few.

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