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GlaxoSmithKline develop vaccine

... the relevant licensing authorities - the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA).
"All being well, we expect to make regulatory filings for the vaccine in the coming months," said GSK chief executive Jean-Pierre Garnier.
Prime desire
The UK and US have both expressed a desire to "prime" their respective populations with an initial inoculation.
Mr Garnier said he recently met US President George W Bush to discuss the vaccination programme.
Following the meeting, GSK received $272m (£148m) of funding, earmarked in part to develop new technologies to produce vaccines.
If there was a pandemic outbreak in the early autumn, mass production of GSK's vaccine could probably be started quickly by collaborating with rival pharmaceutical companies.
GSK said it was also talking to the Gates Foundation about how to provide the vaccine to poorer, developing countries.
Shotgun effect
Despite the company's optimism, a number of unanswered questions remain.
Firstly, there is uncertainty over how many doses can be manufactured quickly, and how easy it would be to switch from laboratory testing to mass production.
And secondly, it is not clear how effective the vaccination would be if H5N1 were to mutate significantly.
GSK says its vaccine is more akin to shotgun treatment than a "precision-rifle cure", which means that it appears to be effective against small mutations in the virus strain.
GSK said the cost of the vaccine ... continue > 

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Published: 27 July 2006      Ref: BBC News


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