U.S. Congress Approves More Money Into H1N1 Pandemic Preparation
An additional $884 million in funding has been allocated to buy more ingredients an antigen and an adjuvant for swine flu vaccines. This is in addition to the $1 billion The Department of Health and Human Services committed to fighting the Swine Flu in May.
Novartis will get the bulk of the $884 million. The drugmaker has landed $690.1 million to produce bulk vaccine antigen as well as other ingredients. GlaxoSmithKline is being furnished with $71.4 million for bulk oil and water adjuvant, while Sanofi Pasteur will receive $61.4 million to produce ingredients.
Washington Business Journal writer, Vandana Sinha reported that one month after (H1N1) swine flu was declared a global pandemic, MedImmune has been awarded additional $61 million contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, six weeks after it accepted a $90 million contract from the agency to manufacture ingredients for a potential vaccine for the H1N1 virus to fight the predicted Swine Flu outbreak.
MedImmune, now the Gaithersburg subsidiary of the London-based AstraZeneca PLC, is using the funding to produce and test the flu-fighting technology it uses in its seasonal FluMist product (nasal spray) as a viable treatment for the for the H1N1 virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the H1N1 (Swine) Flu to the highest warning levels on the pandemic scale.
The follow-up awards were given to four of five pharmaceuticals that the federal government has been contracting with to produce potential vaccine materials — Sanofi Pasteur SA, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Novartis AG, CSL Ltd. and MedImmune.
In all, the agency has spent nearly $1.9 billion to date on these contracts., MedImmune’s combined $150 million in awards have been the smallest so far of those companies.