Thursday, November 5, 2009

Novartis's Celtura Flu Vaccine wins German approval

It seems the H1N1 vaccine grows more experimental as time goes on.

Novartis' swine flu vaccine Celtura has been approved in Germany, its first market, in what is a major milestone for the company's cell-based vaccine production programme.
Novartis has been a pioneer in producing vaccines in mammalian cell culture a faster process than the chicken egg method, which can take months to produce each batch.

And what exactly is this "mammalian process"?

"Celtura is produced using dog kidney cells rather than the more traditional vaccine-manufacturing method, which involves growing the virus in fertilized chicken eggs. The approval marks an “important milestone” in the process of replacing 50-year-old production methods with modern biotechnology, Novartis said. The cell culture technology has already been approved in Europe for use in producing the seasonal flu vaccine Optaflu. Novartis has also asked Swiss and Japanese regulators to approve Celtura."

Could Germany's approval of this vaccine have anything to do with this story on the lobby group ESWI that 'advises' the German government?

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