Novartis races into the clinic with H1N1 vax

Novartis has begun testing a new swine flu vaccine in a clinical trial, but says it expects to get the jab on the market long before the study winds up a year from now. Sanofi-Pasteur, meanwhile, expects to launch human trials in a matter of days.

Novartis is planning to use egg-based production methods for half of its new flu vaccine, with cell-based technology used to manufacture the other half. And it also expects to test vaccines with and without an adjuvant. While the WHO has recommended the use of adjuvants to extend the reach of global supplies, the U.S. has yet to follow Europe's lead on the use of a booster--though that may change this fall.

The rapid spread of swine flu has provoked panic in many places. Fights broke out in one city in India this week as people waited at a local hospital to be tested for the virus.  

- read the story from Time

ALSO: Baxter International, meanwhile, says that it has prepared its first commercial supplies of swine flu vaccine and is discussing distribution plans with regulators. Baxter says it tested a ‘mock-up' vaccine using earlier strains of the virus. The company has orders to supply vaccine to five countries. Report