Glaxo H5N1 vaccine may work against multiple strains

first_imgEditor’s note: This story was revised Mar 7 to clarify information about global influenza vaccine production capacity.March 6, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) unveiled new findings yesterday suggesting that its inactivated H5N1 influenza vaccine may protect humans from more than one strain of the virus, which may build a stronger case for prepandemic vaccination and spur more countries to consider stockpiling.Researchers from GSK detailed recent findings from two studies at a symposium in Hong Kong, the company said in a press release yesterday. In July 2006, the company had reported that its vaccine triggered a good immune response in humans at a much lower dose than other H5N1 vaccines under development.GSK’s vaccine, based on an H5N1 virus collected in Vietnam in 2004, contains a proprietary adjuvant (an immune-stimulating chemical). Adjuvants enable vaccine makers to produce more doses from a limited supply of antigen.Though the GSK vaccine is made with older egg-based production methods, which are slower and more laborious than newer cell-culture or DNA technology, the dose-sparing effect of the adjuvant is crucial. The current world population is more than 6 billion, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated the maximum global production capacity for seasonal flu vaccines at only about 350 million doses.In November, the WHO cautioned governments against spockpiling prepandemic vaccines, because many fundamental questions about H5N1 vaccines remained, such as whether vaccines would work against more than one strain of the virus.However, vaccines that are effective against more than one strain could strengthen the case for building prepandemic vaccine stockpiles. David Stout, president of GSK Pharmaceuticals, commented in the press release, “We believe this vaccine will provide governments with a new option to help protect their populations against the threat of a future human influenza pandemic.”Study resultsThe first study GSK presented at the Hong Kong meeting involved 400 adults and found that very low levels of GSK’s inactivated, adjuvanted H5N1 vaccine (two 3.8-microgram [mcg] doses administered 21 days apart) elicited strong cross-reactive immunity against an Indonesian strain of the virus. The response was 25 times greater than that observed in a control group that received a nonadjuvanted version of the vaccine, GSK said in its press release. Immunity was assessed by measuring the level of neutralizing antibodies.”This means that proactive administration of our prepandemic vaccine before or just after the start of a pandemic could help to substantially slow down the spread of the disease,” said Jean Stephenne, president of GSK Biologicals.For comparison, an H5N1 vaccine made by Sanofi Pasteur that was recently recommended for approval by a US Food and Drug Administration panel required two 90-mcg doses to yield an immune response in less than half of patients tested.In the second study, researchers immunized ferrets with the GSK vaccine and then infected them with an Indonesian strain of H5N1 virus. Only 1 of the 23 infected animals died, which translates to a 96% protection rate, GSK reported.Findings difficult to evaluateGregory Poland, MD, a vaccine expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., told CIDRAP News that it’s hard to evaluate GSK’s findings, because the company has not yet published any clinical trials in peer-reviewed medical journals. “It’s certainly exciting news, but it needs to be confirmed,” he said. Researchers are eager to learn more about the adjuvant that GSK used, particularly its safety profile and reactivity.The report of a robust immune response with a low dose of vaccine is promising, and in a prepandemic setting, a two-dose course isn’t likely to be problematic, said Poland, who is a professor of medicine in infectious diseases at the Mayo College of Medicine and directs the Mayo Vaccine Research Group and Program in Translational Immunovirology. “It’s tempting to go overboard, and I’m excited, but cautiously so,” he added.Besides positioning its vaccine as a prepandemic measure for national stockpiles, GSK would also like to market the vaccine someday to medical clinics and individuals, according to a Canadian Press story published yesterday.In November 2006, the US Department of Health and Human Services awarded GSK a $40 million contract for a supply of its H5N1 antigen in bulk form, and in January it granted the company $63.3 million to develop antigen-sparing H5N1 influenza vaccines.See also:Jul 2006 CIDRAP News article “Glaxo says its H5N1 vaccine works at low dose”last_img read more

Trump disrespects military, protesters

first_imgHave we forgotten the disrespect he showed Sen. John McCain during the campaign or his criticism of a Gold Star father who spoke at the Democratic National Convention? Did we ignore his insensitivity to the widow of a soldier killed in Niger?The NFL players have been clear that they are demonstrating about police violence toward minorities, and they harbor no ill will or disrespect to the U.S. Armed Forces.President Trump has clearly demonstrated that he disrespects the sacrifice of our armed forces, the legitimate concerns of the NFL players, and the intelligence of every American.President Trump has proven himself the disrespecter-in-chief.Ken LarsenSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%Troopers: Schenectady pair possessed heroin, crack cocaine in Orange County Thruway stopEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsSchenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positions Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion President Trump has been quite critical of the professional football players who have expressed their concern about police violence by kneeling during the national anthem.He, and many others, see this as being disrespectful of current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces.President Trump’s hypocrisy is stunning.last_img read more

Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire dominate ITTF West Africa Challenge

first_imgRelatedPosts Nigeria win table tennis’ women doubles’ gold, silver medals Bello hits 48th Asoju Oba Cup final Nigeria and host nation Cote d’Ivoire emerged as champions at the maiden ITTF West Africa Challenge concluded at the weekend in Abidjan.It was Nigeria’s Fatimo Bello that emerged as champion in the women’s event after beating compatriot Tosin Oribamise 4-2 in the final of the maiden ITTF West Africa Challenge held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.In the men’s final, home boy Oba Kizito thrilled the fans with his performance after a convincing 4-0 win over Benin Republic’s Monday Olabiyi.From the group stage, Bello did not drop a game to sail to the final where she had to come from 2-0 down to beat Oribamise and emerged as the champion.However, Kizito admitted that the quarterfinal tie against Nigeria’s Augustine Emmanuel remained the toughest match he played in the competition.“I am so happy that I made my people proud with this win as I was really determined to become champion. It was a bit easy in the final but the quarterfinal win has boosted my confidence that I can win the tournament,” the 24-year-old said.For Bello, the victory did not come on a platter of gold. “It was not easy at all because I had to come from behind to win the encounter. I am very happy and grateful to the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) for the opportunity to represent my country. I must also acknowledge the support from the Abidjan particularly being my first time in this lovely country and I look forward to returning next time,” Bello said.Cote d’Ivoire’s Nadia Kemanan settled for bronze in the women while Ghana’s Derek Abrefa finished third in the men’s event.The winners are expected to represent the region at the 2020 Africa Top 16 Cup in Tunisia.A satisfied Deputy Secretary General of FITT, Ali Kanate, described hosting the tournament as a good development for Cote d’Ivoire, particularly for the growth of table tennis in the country.Kanate said: “I am so excited that within a short time, we were able to stage this tournament. Mobilising all the teams was a challenge but with the huge support from ITTF, this was sorted out and we have 11 out of the 15 countries that made up the region.“The usual bottlenecks synonymous with the first day were there but we believe we have learnt from hosting this competition. This has again shown our ability to stage major competitions, having hosted the 2018 World Junior Circuit and African Junior Championship successfully.”Eleven of the 15 countries in West Africa competed at the two-day championship hosted by the Federation of Ivorien Table Tennis with support from ITTF. Tags: Fatimo BelloITTF West Africa ChallengeMonday Olabiyilast_img read more