August 8, 2008

Novartis Ships Influenza Virus Vaccines to US

Novartis has started shipments of its Fluvirin influenza virus vaccine to US health care facilities and practitioners for the 2008/2009 influenza season.

The company is producing up to 40 million doses of Fluvirin, with the World Health Organization recommended change in all three virus strains included in the influenza vaccine composition.

Novartis expects to deliver at least 20 million doses by the end of September 2008, when widespread vaccination campaigns usually begin, and strives to ship the remainder by October 31, 2008.

To help meet demand for influenza vaccine earlier in the season, Novartis now has a second manufacturing facility in Rosia, Italy, in addition to its Liverpool, England facility. The FDA recently granted approval to the Rosia facility to fill Fluvirin in pre-filled syringes.

Joerg Reinhardt, CEO of Novartis vaccines and diagnostics, said: "Novartis is committed to delivering high quality influenza vaccine to help protect more people against this potentially serious and contagious disease."