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Baxter Wins Contract to Develop Cell-Based H5N1 Vaccine
The European subsidiary of Baxter International (Deerfield, IL, www.baxter.com) has won a UK National Health Service (www.nhs.uk) contract to develop two million doses of a cell-based candidate H5N1 influenza vaccine and complete delivery of the stockpile this year.
High-yield production of the candidate vaccine is based on Baxter’s vero-cell platform, which does not require the addition of any animal serum and has been successfully used to grow wild-type virus. Baxter’s vaccine production facilities are engineered for BioSafety Level 3 production, which allows the company to use wild-type strains to accelerate production.
The candidate H5N1 vaccine has yet to undergo full clinical testing to demonstrate safety and immunogenicity for pandemic flu.
Baxter also is in discussion with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop a cell-culture-based H5N1 candidate pandemic influenza vaccine for initial clinical testing this year.