SHANTHA TO INTRODUCE PENTAVALENT VACCINE THIS YEAR

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India-based Shantha Biotechnics is progressing with its plans to introduce DTP+ Hep B+ Hib pentavalent vaccine -- which protects against diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, hepatitis B and haemophilus influenza type B -- by the end of 2006.

The company is also in the process of developing a series of other new vaccines, it added.

The market size for the combination vaccine in India is estimated at $50 million. Distributed though UNICEF, the vaccine is likely to reach approximately 60 countries by the end of this year.