I originally posted the following news commentary onto my Facebook wall…
Baxter’s Cell Culture-Based Pandemic Flu Vaccine Receives EMEA Positive Opinion:
(BioPharm Bulletin) – Celvapan, the first cell culture-based H5N1 (avian flu) pandemic vaccine, has moved closer to approval in the European Union. On December 18, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMEA), issued a positive opinion, recommending market authorization for the vaccine, made by Baxter International, Inc. (Deerfield, IL).
The positive opinion precedes the licensure of the “mock-up” vaccine, which allows Celvapan to be used if the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declares a pandemic. The positive opinion was based on results from a comprehensive clinical development program, including a Phase 3 clinical trial that demonstrated vaccines for two different H5N1 virus strains were well tolerated and generated a functional immune response.
My Commentary: Due to the fact that the world narrowly averted a global avian flu pandemic this month due to the diligence of the good individuals at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Canada, I decided to further research the topic today, and came upon this article, dated January 19, 2009. As it turns out, the company responsible for almost causing the above-mentioned bio-disaster, Baxter International Inc., just so happens to own the rights to “Celvapan,” the world’s first cell-culture based H5N1 (avian flu) pandemic vaccine! Apparently, though it’s still in trial stages, it is very close to receiving full market authorization from the European Union. In other words, if a global avian flu pandemic ever did take place, Baxter International would be in a position to make a great deal of money!!!