Innovative vaccines get EMEA panel approval

Baxter International's H5N1 flu vaccine, Celvapan, received CHMP approval last week, meaning the vaccine could become the first cell culture-based H5N1 influenza vax to hit the market. Celvapan is grown in monkey kidney cells. Sanofi Pasteur and GlaxoSmithKline currently have two egg-based vaccines on the market. The cell-based method is faster than the egg-based approach because the virus used in the vaccine does not required modification to grow in chicken eggs, Baxter tells the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.

Sanofi Pasteur also snagged a CHMP recommendation for Intanza, a seasonal flu vaccine that is injected below intradermally, rather than into muscle--the first of its kind to be approved by the CHMP. The application, submitted back in February, was based on clinical trials involving more than 7,000 adult and elderly participants. In a Phase III trial, Intanza induced a stronger immune response when given intradermally than intramuscularly, Susan Watkins, a Sanofi spokeswoman tells the CIDRAP.

- view the Baxter release
- check out the Sanofi release
- read the CIDRAP for more