Welsh not keen on swine flu jab; Merck buys Hawaii Biotech vax unit;

Vaccine Market

Just one in eight people in Wales had a swine flu jab during the pandemic, new figures reveal. Uptake of the special vaccine, produced to combat the threat from the H1N1 virus, was lower than that for the annual seasonal flu jab. Story

Merck (NYSE: MRK) has agreed to purchase bankrupt Hawaii Biotech's dengue fever vaccine unit for an undisclosed sum. It's a critical move for Hawaii, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year and will deplete a $2 million credit line by the end of this month. The sale leaves Hawaii with a West Nile virus vaccine in development. Item

Eight in 10 of the teenage girls offered the cervical cancer vaccine in schools last term availed of the jab, new figures revealed. The Health Service Executive (HSE) confirmed that 1,300 first-year girls received the first dose of the vaccine in May, as part of the limited rollout before it is extended in the autumn. Report

Vaccine Research

Researchers at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute will conduct a clinical trial on a new rotavirus vaccine for babies they have developed. Twenty babies will be given single dose of the vaccine orally. Larger trials are scheduled in Indonesia and New Zealand if the local test is successful. Report

Biolex Therapeutics and Merial have entered into a new, broad-ranging research and development collaboration to produce innovative veterinary vaccines.  The collaboration will combine Biolex's proprietary Lemna expression system (LEX SystemSM) with Merial's expertise and commercial presence in veterinary vaccines.  No financial details have been released. Release

Pantec Biosolutions, which develops a transdermal drug delivery device, just received a $19 million shot in the arm, with StemCell Holding, an Austrian life science investment firm, leading the round. Report