Swine flu vaccine production underway

Using its baculovirus and insect cell manufacturing technology, Protein Sciences estimates that it could be delivering H1N1 swine flu vaccine by mid July. That includes quality testing time, the manufacturer says.

The World Health Organization last week raised the pandemic level to phase 6, calling for the implementation of "individual, societal, and pharmaceutical measures" as well as implementation of contingency plans for health systems. WHO continues to recommend no restrictions on travel and no border closures, however.

Some 100,000 doses of Protein Sciences' PanBlok vaccine, being produced from this week forward, will be targeted for clinical trials and for vaccinations in countries that have granted regulatory clearance.

The company says it is in discussions with "various parties" in the U.S. and abroad to conduct human clinical trials. Such studies will evaluate different doses, two dosing regimens, and a formulation of the vaccine containing adjuvant.

Meanwhile, following the WHO announcement, GlaxoSmithKline says it is going to increase production of its anti-viral Relenza, and continue developing a swine flu vaccine. Separately, Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech says it hopes to put its H1N1 vaccine through its first clinical trial by the end of July.

- read the Protein Sciences announcement
- read the GSK announcement
- here's the Sinovac item from Reuters