Intercell recalls encephalitis vaccine batch

Austria-based vaccine maker Intercell has recalled a batch of its Japanese encephalitis vaccine Ixiaro in the European Union. The drugmaker says some vaccines at the end of their shelf life lacked potency, and said that those who'd received the shot may want to get vaccinated again. Overall, about 5,000 doses of the vaccine were recalled in Britain, France, Italy and Spain.

Intercell CEO Thomas Lingelbach said the recall is an isolated incident and is not indicative of larger problems in the vaccine's manufacturing. "The total cost to Intercell (of the recall) will be below €100,000 ($142,000) so we will not even see that on the balance sheet," he told Reuters. "This is indeed a real non-issue and why the markets overreact to it, I do not know...There is no systemic issue or problem with the product. This is a pure precautionary measure." Lingelbach replaced former CEO Gerd Zettlmeissl earlier this month after the vaccine developer's experimental patch for travelers' diarrhea flunked two late-stage trials.

Ixiaro is Intercell's only marketed product. The company is aiming for 60-70 percent growth in 2011 sales of the vaccine based on interest from the U.S. military and those traveling abroad.

- check out the Reuters report