The HHS has awarded Chiron a $62.5 million contract to supply pre-pandemic influenza vaccine for a federal stockpile to protect against the H5N1 avian influenza virus strain.
Under the terms of the agreement, Chiron will provide a bulk stockpile of H5N1 influenza vaccine, which the company will produce at its Liverpool manufacturing facility using the U.S.-licensed commercial-scale manufacturing process. The stockpile vaccine, which Chiron will provide to the HHS in 2006, is based on an inactivated influenza strain similar to the H5N1 avian subtype that has circulated throughout Southeast Asia and more recently in Eastern Europe, the firm said.
Production of the H5N1 stockpile vaccine will not affect Chiron's ability to manufacture Fluvirin, an influenza vaccine that is also made at the Liverpool plant, the company said. Chiron announced earlier this year that it expected to provide the U.S. with 18 million to 26 million doses of Fluvirin for this year's flu season, but the firm said recently that it might fall short of that target.