Hospital workers axed for refusing H1N1 vaccine; Geron shares jump on promising cancer vaccine data; Nabi pockets $5M

Swine Flu Pandemic

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia fired nine workers who refused to get vaccinated against H1N1. The pediatric hospital says it cares for the sickest of the sick and couldn't take the chance that any patient would contract the flu while hospitalized. Story

GlaxoSmithKline and Baxter have received approval from the drug controller of India to carry out human trials of swine flu vaccines in India. "The bridge study with volunteers will tell us whether their medicine is safe for us or not," V.M. Katoch, secretary, department of health research in the health ministry said. Report

Vaccine Research

A new study finds that children vaccinated against chicken pox appear to have gained additional protection from shingles. Story

Geron's stock price benefited from the news that its cancer vaccine met its safety and tolerability goals in a mid-stage trial. GRNVAC1 targets telomerase, an enzyme found in malignant tumors. Report

Nabi Biopharmaceuticals will pocket a $5 million milestone on the initiation of a Phase I/II clinical trial for two of the antigens in the PentaStaph vaccine candidate, which is now owned by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals. Release

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services decided to drop a request for proposals for new recombinant protective antigen anthrax vaccines, saying that the agency doesn't believe that developers can deliver one that could win FDA approval within eight years. And the sudden shift pulled the rug out from underneath PharmAthene's stock. On Tuesday the biotech's share price plunged by 50 percent as investors got a chance to digest the implications of the news. Story

Shares of BiondVax Pharmaceuticals jumped last Friday after the Israeli developer announced positive new Phase I/II trial data for a second-generation universal flu vaccine. Story

Sanofi Pasteur has expanded its dengue vaccine clinical program in Latin America with a new multicenter study in children and adolescents in Mexico, Colombia, Honduras and Puerto Rico. Release

Vaccine Manufacturing

European regulators have approved Dynavax's plans to produce a key component of its late stage hepatitis B vaccine Heplisav at a site in Germany. Story

China's Simcere Pharmaceutical has suspended production at its Jiangsu Yanshen Biological Technology Stock Co. after reporting quality control issues related to the production of rabies vaccine. Simcere obtained a majority interest in the unit in October. Story

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Pfizer and BioNTech followed supply pacts in the U.S. and U.K. with a new deal to deliver 120 million vaccines to Japan in the first half of 2021.

Sanofi's cost cuts are adding up, execs said in an update Wednesday. The company has trimmed nearly €1 billion in annual expenses so far in 2020.

Shingrix sales in the second quarter plummeted by half from first-quarter levels, and recovery of vaccination rates remains slow amid the pandemic.