HHS provides $884M in swine flu contracts; Animal vaccines likely to boost value of Merck, Pfizer units;

Swine Flu

The Department of Health and Human Services will hand out $884 million in funding to buy more ingredients an antigen and an adjuvant for swine flu vaccines. This is in addition to the $1 billion HHS committed to fighting the disease in May. Report

MedImmune was awarded a new $61 million contract for a nasal spray vaccine that can be used against swine flu. Story

In the U.K., the number of calls to GPs over concerns related to swine flu has rocketed up 50 percent, to 40,000. Story

Three biotech companies in India have been given the green light to start on a swine flu vaccine. Report

Health officials in Wales are preparing for up to a million cases of swine flu. Story

Health officials in Italy are preparing to vaccinate 15 percent of the population. Story

Vaccine Market

Analysts expect that Pfizer and Merck will both do well when they close a deal to sell their animal health divisions, which is being forced by their respective merger plans. In part that's because their animal vaccines offer a reliable revenue stream and significantly lower risks than they face on the human side of drug development. Story

Antigenics has forged a distribution agreement for its therapeutic cancer vaccine Oncophage in Russia. Report

Wyeth says that it won its first regulatory approval for the new version of Prevnar-Prevnar 13--in Chile. Story

Vaccine Research

An Israeli company has created a vaccine that researchers believe can save bees from colony collapse disorder. Report