The Super Antibody And The Holy Grail

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeLast week, I complained about the British weather (which is still awful by the way) and outlined how the pharma industry is already preparing for this year’s winter flu season. Following on from that, I’ve just read a really interesting story about the holy grail of flu vaccine manufacturers — the possibility of a super, universal vaccine that could protect against all common strains of influenza. Read more »

A Breath Of Flu Air

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeMost of you are probably enjoying the summer weather. Unfortunately, I’m based in the UK where June and July have been saturated with wet windy days. To add to the wintery feeling, this week I’ve read a lot in the news about flu vaccines. Just as some of us in the north of England have already accepted that summer is over (before it began I might add), vaccine manufacturers are also preparing for this winter’s round of seasonal influenza. Read more »

Lower Vaccine Prices For Developing Countries

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeThis week has seen several pharma companies slashing the prices of important vaccines for use in developing countries, but is the move spurred by simple generosity alone? There are often headlines about pharma companies’ drug donations to developing countries and I think it’s great to see the pharma industry making a difference in this area. However, the price reductions may also stem from something other than generosity: the need to compete with other vaccine manufacturers, particularly at a time where more and more low-cost generic medicines are becoming available. Read more »

A Prescription for New Jersey, and for the Drug Industry

Erik Greb PharmTech editorMention New Jersey to someone on the street, and he or she is likely to think of Springsteen, the Sopranos, or (God forbid) Snooki. But PharmTech readers know that New Jersey is an important state for the drug industry. Many big companies, such as Johnson and Johnson, sanofi-aventis, Novartis, and Pfizer, have headquarters or other offices in the state. And the Garden State’s drugmakers are facing the same difficulties that confront the industry at large. Read more »

Vaccines Loom Large at INTERPHEX

Erik Greb PharmTech editorEven more than visiting the exhibit floor, I enjoy attending the presentations at INTERPHEX, which will take place next week in New York. The sessions always reflect the current hot topics within the pharmaceutical industry, and this year is no exception. Observers have been predicting that vaccines will be the industry’s new growth area, so my eye was drawn to the various biopharmaceutical talks listed on the INTERPHEX schedule of events. Read more »

Confusing Language and a Dubious Victory for Patients

Erik Greb PharmTech editorThis week, vaccine manufacturers won increased protection from liability in a closely watched case before the US Supreme Court. In Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, the Court ruled that federal law prohibits patients who claim to have been injured by a vaccine from suing the manufacturer. Pfizer hailed the decision as a victory for public health, but its effect is to diminish patients’ recourse when they suffer harm from taking faulty products. Read more »

Narcolepsy Prompts GSK Vaccine Investigation

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeA possible link between cases of the chronic sleep disorder narcolepsy and GlaxoSmithKline’s H1N1 pandemic vaccine, Pandemrix, has led to a call from the World Health Organization (WHO) for further investigation. Narcolepsy is a rare condition with no currently available cure. Read more »

Challenges And Changes in Vaccine Manufacture

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeEarlier this week I took a trip to Liverpool (UK) to the Downstream Processing Day hosted by SAFC and Sartorius Stedim Biotech. A lot of interesting topics were discussed, including vaccine manufacture, which is a particularly hot issue both inside and outside of the industry at the moment. Read more »

Big Pharma Gets Caught in the WikiLeaks Spotlight

Erik Greb PharmTech editorJournalists continue to comb through the latest batch of diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, seeking to interpret the mass of raw information. Until now, the cables’ significance has seemed to be limited to political circles. But one cable turns out to contain the 2008 version of the Critical Foreign Dependencies Initiative (CFDI) list, which names international facilities that could be considered crucial for American security. Perhaps not surprisingly, the list cites several pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical facilities. Read more »

Could Lawsuits Threaten Vaccine Makers’ Livelihood?

Erik Greb PharmTech editorDoes federal law shield the makers of vaccines from product-liability lawsuits? Last week, the US Supreme Court began considering this question, which is the heart of a lawsuit against Wyeth, now a part of Pfizer (New York). Read more »

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