Novartis Says it Has Produced First Batch of H1N1 Vaccine


swine-flu5Swiss pharmaceuticals company Novartis AG says that it has produced a first batch of experimental swine flu vaccine. The vaccine hasn’t yet been tested and cannot be used in humans yet. It was made in cells, rather than grown in eggs as is usually the case with vaccines, the company said. But because vaccines grown in cells account for less than 5 percent of the world’s flu vaccine capacity, Novartis’ announcement is unlikely to provide a major boost to the world’s pandemic vaccine supply. The announcement comes after WHO declared swine flu, also known as A(H1N1), a pandemic. The move indicates that a global outbreak is under way. WHO says drugmakers will likely have vaccines approved and ready for sale after September.

Novartis said it would use the first batch of vaccine for laboratory testing. It may also be tested in humans, the company said.

{Los Angeles Times/Elisha Newscenter}