Since the H1N1 outbreak began pharmas have raced to develop a vaccine, with governments eager to inoculate populations, and companies such as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are now benefiting from this. In Indiana and Tennessee, US healthcare workers are now being vaccinated.
GSK is among the companies that have begun shipping H1N1 vaccines and it anticipates this will continue through the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first half of next year. Since August 4 GSK has secured orders for 149m doses and is in talks with governments about further supplies.
This is generating substantial revenues for GSK. A deal with the US government is worth $250m but Reuters calculates, based on GSK’s figures and the sale cost of H1N1 vaccine, that the company’s total booked orders are worth £2.2bn.
Delivery of this order book is reliant on a number of factors. In its press statement GSK said government import and export regulations, regulatory approvals, testing required by reference laboratories and approvals for outsourced packaging and filling all impact on operations.
Updates from Baxter and Cel-Sci
Baxter and Cel-Sci have also recently issued updates on the progress of their H1N1 vaccines. The European Medicines agency (EMEA) gave a positive opinion for Baxter’s Celvapan H1N1 vaccine which is manufactured using the company’s Vero cell technology.
Having received the positive opinion Baxter is awaiting product release subject to final market authorisation being granted by the European Commission. Baxter is also confirming the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine in clinical trials.
Cel-Sci is also continuing to develop its vaccine and, having been given permission by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to start an initial clinical trial, the company has given details of its product.
In a press statement Ken Rosenthal, one of Cel-Sci’s external collaborators, said the company’s H1N1 treatment is aimed at hospitalised patients and functions by altering white blood cells so they kill influenza.