Researchers move leprosy vax toward clinic; Sanofi cited on vaccine manufacturing snafu

Vaccine Research

After years of research work, the Infectious Disease Research Institute says it is on the verge of moving a new leprosy vaccine into a safety trial. Investigators are also working on a new diagnostic test that should be able to identify the disease in 10 minutes. Story

San Diego-based Pfenex, which spun out of Dow Chemical last year, has won a contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to develop a new anthrax vaccine. The contract is worth up to $18.8 million. "A recombinant solution for the production of this strategically relevant product has been sought after for a number of years and we are confident that Pfenex's platform will deliver that solution," said CEO Bertrand Liang. Pfenex release

Vaccine Market

The FDA has cited Sanofi-Aventis for failing to follow U.S. manufacturing standards at one of its vaccine facilities in France.  "You failed to follow procedures designed to prevent microbial contamination," the FDA warned. Story

The number of whooping cough cases continues to rise in California and health officials say it is shaping up as one of the worst outbreak in half a century. "The pertussis epidemic is a sobering and tragic reminder that diseases long thought controlled can return with a vengeance," said Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health. "We can protect ourselves and the most vulnerable in our community by getting vaccinated today." Story