PHARMA COMPANIES TO DEVELOP FLU VACCINES WITH ADJUVANT
The US Department of Health and HumanServices has awarded $132.5 millionto 3 pharmaceutical companies for theadvanced development of H5N1 influenzavaccines using an adjuvant—animmune system booster. The governmenthas given the companies the task ofdeveloping bird-flu vaccines using adjuvants,which increase the body's immuneresponse. Less of this type of vaccineshould be required for protection.
The agency awarded $54.8 million toNovartis, $63.3 million to GlaxoSmith-Kline, and $14.4 million to Iomai ofMaryland. Under the contracts, eachcompany will increase its capacity toproduce—within 6 months after thestart of an influenza pandemic—either150 million doses of an adjuvant-basedpandemic influenza vaccine or sufficientadjuvant for 150 million doses of a pandemicinfluenza vaccine.