Novartis Flu Vaccine on Track for the US

28 October 2009 (Last Updated October 28th, 2009 18:30)

Novartis has confirmed it is shipping over 7.5 million ready-to-use doses of its Influenza A(H1N1) vaccine to the US and expects 25 to 30 million doses to be available by the end of November. In addition, the company has announced progress with the production of its proprietary adjuvant M

Novartis has confirmed it is shipping over 7.5 million ready-to-use doses of its Influenza A(H1N1) vaccine to the US and expects 25 to 30 million doses to be available by the end of November.

In addition, the company has announced progress with the production of its proprietary adjuvant MF59, which when ready could be used to double the number of vaccine doses produced.

Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics CEO Andrin Oswald said that overall the company was pleased with progress to date.

“Not only did we complete our commitment to provide the seasonal vaccine ahead of schedule, we are making every effort to make as much H1N1 vaccine available as quickly as possible,” said Oswald.

Production of the H1N1 vaccine was set back after the company achieved unexpectedly low yields with the initial seed virus at 23%, compared to average yield seen with seasonal vaccines.

Following this Novartis started production with a new seed virus in September that provides an improved yield of 63%.

To date, Novartis has produced 42 million bulk units of the vaccine out of the 90 million doses of bulk antigen expected by December.