The growing threat of a swine-flu pandemic has prompted London-based GlaxoSmithKline to increase production of the antiviral treatment relenza.
The world’s second-largest drugmaker says it is to boost output to five million packs a month, although it will take 12 to 14 weeks to get production up to that level.
The company is also in talks with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health organisations about developing a vaccine.
Says a spokesman: “GSK stands ready to begin manufacture of a potential vaccine against the new influenza A strain virus once the WHO and other public health authorities make recommendations for composition of the vaccine.”
Relenza is one of two antiviral drugs, the other being Tamiflu, that constitutes the US government`s stockpile of 44 million courses of antiviral medication.
Glaxo said in a statement that it is liaising with other drugmakers about the possibility of further increasing its capacity.
Copyright Press Association 2009