AstraZeneca's MedImmune submitted a new drug application in Europe to market its nasal spray flu vaccine, according to a company press release. The FDA approved the same nasal spray in 2003, which AstraZeneca markets as FluMist in the United States.
Currently, clinicians give the flu vaccine by injection only in Europe. If approved, this will be the first time the FluMist brand will be in a market outside of the U.S. The company based its submission on 73 studies conducted in 38 countries.
The intranasal spray is available readily within the U.S., and the chief medical officer of MedImmune, Dr. Alex Zukiwski, says he hopes the future availability of the product in Europe "will contribute to an increase in vaccination rates and reduce the spread of influenza around the world." AstraZeneca also recently released a version of the spray in the U.S. that is refrigerator-safe.