Novartis confirmed today that it has shipped over 7.5 million doses of Influenza A(H1N1) vaccine ready to use and expects 25 to 30 million doses of unadjuvanted vaccine to become available in pre-filled syringes and multi-dose vials by the end of November.
Smaller changes in delivery timelines and volumes can result out of the variability of the underlying biological production process. The deliveries are in line with commitments made to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
In addition, the company is progressing with the production of its proprietary adjuvant MF59 for the US. Adjuvants have shown to be antigen sparing and can double the number of vaccine doses produced.
“Overall, we are pleased with the progress achieved to date, given the many challenges and uncertainties of the current pandemic. Not only did we complete our commitment to provide seasonal vaccine ahead of schedule, we are making every effort to make as much H1N1 vaccine available as quickly as possible,” said Andrin Oswald, CEO of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. “However, we acknowledge the limitations of the old manufacturing sites and technologies for influenza vaccines to rapidly respond to the needs of a pandemic. Over the last three years, Novartis has made major R&D investments to develop new technologies. And in partnership with HHS, we are building the first cell based flu manufacturing facility in the US. The opening of the site is planned later this year.”