Thursday, July 27, 2006
NYTimes reported today [NYTimes article] that GlaxoSmithKline has developed a more effective bird flu vaccine that works at a far smaller dose, so it might be manufactured rapidly enough to respond to a pandemic. Sanofi Pasteur's vaccine developed last year and stockpiled by the government requires such large doses (90 v. 4 ugm) that it could not keep up with a pandemic spread of bird flu. GSK expects to seek approval FDA approval this year. The vaccine will sell for the same price as a standard flu shot, which is an average of $8 to $12 a shot. GlaxoSmithKline’s current production capacity for seasonal flu vaccine is 60 million to 70 million doses a year, and that it could make an equal amount of the bird flu vaccine. By 2008, GSK expects to expand its production capacity to 150 million doses a year.