French, Chinese firms plan avian flu vaccine trials here
City officials, left, examine a fighting cock at a farm in Min Buri district for signs of bird flu yesterday. � SOMCHAI POOMLARD Aim to conduct human tests on at-risk groups
French and Chinese pharmaceutical giants plan to conduct H5N1 vaccination trials on health care workers, poultry farmers and kids in Thailand, considered to be at-risk groups for bird flu infection, the Public Health Ministry's Medical Sciences Department revealed yesterday. France's Sanofi Pasteur and China's Sinovac Biotech were interested in jointly conducting the bird flu vaccine experiments on humans with the ministry.
The companies also disclosed plans to establish avian influenza production factories here, said chief of Medical Sciences Paijit Warachit.
``We have been talking with both countries. We might work with the French company [on vaccination trial projects] if we are confident about the safety of the Thai volunteers,'' he said.
The ministry has asked Japan to produce 30,000-100,000 doses of an avian influenza virus for humans and is expected to start Thailand's first bird flu vaccination trial in the middle of next year.
However, Public Health Minister Suchai Charoenratanakul said close surveillance and rapid diagnosis were still the most effective ways to control the virus.
He ordered local public health volunteers and the ministry's rapid response teams to step up their monitoring operations and to educate the public about bird flu prevention.
Thailand has confirmed 19 cases of bird flu with 13 fatalities since the first human case was confirmed on Jan 23. All of the victims lived in remote areas and had close contact with sick poultry.
There are 800,000 local public health volunteers working in villages nationwide and 1,300 surveillance and rapid response teams checking on suspected cases.
The Public Health Ministry has also prepared to stockpile 300 tablets of the anti-viral drug Oseltamivir, the generic name for Tamiflu, 50 rapid test kits and 500 masks at provincial hospitals.
Contrary to the previous post, the earliest Accomplia will be approved in the US is April. It was filed this summer, and if the FDA takes its usual 10 months, the earliest approval date will be April 2006.
May be out earlier in Europe.
Biggest obstacle I can see is relationship with depression and whether or not any suicidal tendencies as the FDA has been concerned with this issue and the SSRI group. While Accomplia is not an SSRI, due to its method of action, there is a slight increase risk of depression.
Big news Nov 8. Get up early and follow the Paris trading. Would not be surprised to see a little disappointment, particularly with unexpected Allegra generic.
With $8 billion dollars being made available for pandemic flu, you can be sure SNY will get its share. Will have guarantees of pricing, purchasing, and waiving of legal exposures. As the only company producing influenza type vaccines in the US and building an additional facility, SNY, even though a French company, will be looked at as important in homeland security, etc. Once the market acknowledges this, we should see a bump up. Was interesting to see that with the disappointing news of the further Exubera delay, both SNY and PFE rose. When a stock begins not to be hurt by bad news, a turn may be afoot.
I watch all this chat about the vaccine windfall SNY is going to get. And I laugh. Do you guys realize how little profit is in a government contract for vaccines? Do you realize how much of a pain in the neck the government is with stuff like this? Think again.