Thursday, October 22, 2009

H1N1 Vaccine: Novartis Will Not Deliver In Time

Bloomberg reports that most of Novartis' H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine may not reach the U.S. until the first quarter of 2010, almost at the end of flu season

Their CEO says “I feel compassion for those people who are waiting,”

Well, maybe he should also feel compassion for Novartis investors?

"The Basel, Switzerland, drugmaker is the biggest U.S. supplier of the new vaccine, and U.S. health officials have reported the country’s overall supply will fall 10 million to 20 million doses short of the 50 million goal for mid-October".

He also says that production is not being held up or behind, after an initial problem of lack of antigen, the key ingredient that enhances immunity (and source of plenty of controversy).

"All the other vaccine makers with contracts to supply to the U.S., Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis SA, London-based GlaxoSmithKline Plc and AstraZeneca Plc, and CSL Ltd. based in Melbourne, received seed strains at the same time to develop the shots, CDC officials have said".

We track all H1N1 vaccine manufacturers and related companies here.

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