Novartis enters partnership in fight against flu

The pharmaceuticals group Novartis has announced it will join forces with Synthetic Genomics Vaccines to develop flu vaccines using “revolutionary” technology.

This content was published on October 7, 2010 - 11:14 and agencies

Basel-based Novartis said its collaboration with the United States group was aimed at accelerating the production of flu strains required for vaccine manufacturing.

A statement on Thursday said that the three-year agreement could ultimately lead to a more effective response to seasonal and pandemic flu outbreaks.

Novartis and other vaccines companies currently rely on the World Health Organization to identify and distribute live reference viruses to create seasonal and pandemic viruses.

Under the terms of the accord, Novartis and its partner will develop a “bank” of synthetically constructed seed viruses ready to go into production as soon as the WHO identifies the flu strains.

The technology could reduce the vaccine production time by up to two months, which is particularly critical in the event of a pandemic, Novartis said.

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