Novartis denies problems with swine flu vaccine

Oct 26, 2009

Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis on Monday denied that it faced hurdles in gaining regulatory approval in Switzerland for one of its swine flu vaccines because of possible bacterial contamination.

The vaccine, branded as Celtura, is produced by a technique using cell cultures from dog kidneys, allowing more rapid production than by the more classical method using chicken eggs, according to the company.

Citing anonymous sources close to the case, the Swiss daily Tages-Anzeiger reported on Saturday that the Swiss authority overseeing medicines and therapeutical products, Swissmedic, had found in test batches of Celtura.

A spokesman at Swissmedic told AFP that the agency could "neither confirm nor deny" the report.

Swissmedic is due to give its authorisation for the vaccine this week ahead of a mass vaccination campaign against influenza A(H1N1) in Switzerland.

A spokesman for Novartis, Eric Althoff, insisted on Monday that the Celtura vaccine was not contaminated.

"There is no contamination of Celtura, the process is much cleaner than by chicken eggs," he told AFP.

Novartis is hoping for the green light to market the vaccine from Swiss health authorities in the coming days and from the European Union in the next few weeks.

The spokesman insisted that the production process was the same as that which has been used on a seasonal flu vaccine for several years.

About 8,000 people have taken part in clinical trials of A(H1N1) vaccines, he added.

Novartis already markets another swine in Europe under the brand name Focetria, which is based on chicken egg cultures.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: More than a quarter of emergency contraceptives in Peru falsified or substandard

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Novartis starts testing swine flu vaccine

Aug 05, 2009

(AP) -- Swiss drugmaker Novartis has begun injecting its swine flu vaccine into people in the company's first human tests, a spokesman said Wednesday. The vaccine is being tested in a yearlong trial of 6,000 ...

US company makes first batch of swine flu vaccine

Jun 24, 2009

A US company that on Tuesday was awarded a 35-million-dollar contract to develop an influenza vaccine using insect cell technology has produced a first batch against (A)H1N1 flu, company boss Dan Adams said.

WHO: Swine flu vaccine on track

Aug 06, 2009

(AP) -- Swine flu vaccine manufacturers are on track to start delivering the first batches of it in September, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

Sanofi to deliver swine flu vaccine in October

Sep 21, 2009

(AP) -- Sanofi-Aventis SA will begin delivering the first doses of its new swine flu vaccine in the United States by mid-October, the head of France's largest pharmaceutical company said Monday.

Recommended for you

Study recalculates costs of combination vaccines

Apr 17, 2014

One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive ...

Drug watchdog urges vigilance in cancer drug theft

Apr 17, 2014

Europe's medicine watchdog urged doctors Thursday to be vigilant in administering the cancer drug Herceptin, vials of which had been stolen in Italy and tampered with before being sold back into the supply chain.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.