A British volunteer has become the first to be tested with swine-flu vaccine from Swiss drugmaker Novartis.
The company reports that it has begun a year-long trial in 6,000 people of all ages in Britain, Germany and the US. It expects the vaccine to be on the market before the trial ends.
The trial is designed to test the vaccine’s safety and whether one or two shots are necessary.
Spokesman Eric Althoff says that half the doses are being grown in chicken eggs, the traditional way of making flu vaccines, while a new cell-based technology is being employed for the remainder.
Meanwhile, Sanofi-Pasteur, owned by Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis and with 40% of the market, expects to start testing its own vaccine within days in the US and Europe, says spokesman Benoit Rungeard.
Pharmaceutical companies worldwide have all accelerated their vaccine-development programmes since the swine flu pandemic was declared. CSL is the first in Australia to start testing in humans.
Copyright Press Association 2009