U.S. GOVERNMENT AWARDS THREE PANDEMIC FLU VACCINE CONTRACTS
The U.S. HHS has awarded three companies a total of $132.5 million in contracts for the development of pandemic flu vaccines.
The department is providing five-year contracts to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, along with a 15-month contract to Iomai, to develop vaccines that use an adjuvant, an immune system booster, HHS announced yesterday. An adjuvant is a substance that helps increase the body's response to the vaccine's active ingredient, called an antigen. HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said this type of vaccine would help provide a limited supply of the vaccine to more people.
The GSK contract is worth $63.3 million. Novartis' contract is worth $54.8 million and the Iomai contract is for $14.4 million. The contracts are meant to support development of vaccines through Phase III clinical trials, to get the products licensed in the U.S. The agreements also support domestic manufacturing of the vaccines.
goal is to ensure that these companies are able, within six months of an outbreak
of an influenza pandemic, to produce either 150 million doses of an adjuvant-based
pandemic vaccine or enough adjuvant for 150 million doses of a pandemic vaccine.