Approval Date: June 20
Protects Against: Influenza
MedImmune, maker of the nasal spray influenza vaccine FluMist, entered the 2012-2013 flu season well-prepared; the company says it has 620,000 extra doses on hand during a time when flu vaccines are in demand and running low. Approved for individuals ages 2 to 49, the vaccine first entered the market in 2003. The spray vaccine differs from its needle-delivered counterparts in that it allows patients to avoid a painful or uncomfortable shot. In 2012, FluMist sales hit an estimated $162 million.
In May 2012, MedImmune teamed with Hemispherx Biopharma ($HEB) to test that company's RNA-based adjuvant, Ampligen, intranasally in combination with FluMist. Preclinical research conducted in Japan showed that Ampligen could amplify immune response to influenza vaccines.
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