Flu vaccine makers get HHS funds to prepare for pandemic

first_imgJun 20, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Federal health officials last week announced the awarding of contracts totaling $132.5 million to help two vaccine producers get ready to start churning out vaccines in the event of a flu pandemic.The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $77.4 million to Sanofi Pasteur and $55.1 million to MedImmune Inc. to retrofit existing vaccine production facilities and keep them in ready condition for 2 years to produce pandemic flu vaccines, with an option to extend the time to 5 years.The goal is that when the retrofitting is done, the facilities together will be capable of producing about 100 million doses of a pandemic vaccine within 6 months of the start of a pandemic, according to Marc Wolfson, a spokesman for HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (formerly the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness).That amount represents about 16% of the HHS goal of having enough domestic capacity to make 600 million doses of pandemic flu vaccine—enough for 300 million people—within 6 months after a pandemic hits, Wolfson told CIDRAP News.The renovations also will equip the two companies to produce prepandemic vaccines year-round, HHS said. Currently production of prepandemic vaccines is limited to the 3 months each year when facilities are not tied up with making seasonal flu vaccines, HHS officials said.The HHS contracts call for the two companies to maintain “warm base operations” in the renovated facilities for 2 years, meaning they will not be shut down. The contracts include options for another 3 years of warm-base operations, which would require more money, the agency said.Sanofi Pasteur, located in Swiftwater, Pa., has been the leading producer of seasonal flu vaccine for the US market in recent years. MedImmune, based in Gaithersburg, Md., makes the nasal-spray seasonal flu vaccine FluMist, which uses a live, attenuated virus.Sanofi makes the only prepandemic H5N1 flu vaccine licensed so far by the Food and Drug Administration. HHS has stockpiled the equivalent of 14.5 million 90-microgram doses of the vaccine, according to Wolfson. That’s enough for about 7.25 million people at two doses each. HHS has a goal of stockpiling enough prepandemic flu vaccine for 20 million people.Wolfson said the current US annual production capacity for prepandemic flu vaccines is 16.5 million doses. Besides Sanofi, he said, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis are also making prepandemic H5N1 vaccines for the US stockpile. Both companies also market seasonal flu vaccines in the United States.Sanofi is building a new flu vaccine plant in Swiftwater and hopes to have it completed in time for the 2008-09 flu season, company spokeswoman Patty Tomski told CIDRAP News. The company will contribute about $25 million to the renovation of its existing plant scheduled under the HHS contract.”The contract covers costs for design, retrofit and the maintenance of the facilities at a state of readiness so the company can switch to pandemic influenza vaccine manufacture at the HHS’s request,” the company said in a news release. Tomski said the plant will be able to start producing a pandemic vaccine at any time of year.The retrofitting is expected to be completed in late 2010, according to Tomski. The renovated plant will use the conventional production method of growing flu viruses in eggs, she reported.With the renovation, the company expects to maintain the plant’s existing production capacity of about 50 million doses a year, Tomski said. The new plant is designed to add capacity for another 100 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine annually.MedImmune will contribute about $14 million to the retrofitting of its facilities under the HHS contract, the company said in a news release.The work will affect MedImmune’s manufacturing and testing facilities in Santa Clara and Mountain View, Calif.; its blending, filling, packaging, and warehousing facilities in Philadelphia and Salem, Pa.; and a storage and distribution center in Louisville, Ky., according to company spokeswoman Karen Lancaster. As part of the renovation, she said, facilities will be expanded to maintain capacity for making seasonal flu vaccines.MedImmune uses an egg-based system to make its intranasal vaccine. The same approach will be used to make pandemic vaccines, though the company is developing a cell-based production system, Lancaster said.See also:Jun 14 HHS news releasehttp://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2007pres/06/20070614a.htmlJun 14 Sanofi news releaseJun 14 MedImmune news releaselast_img read more

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Too few young Clippers to play all those old Spurs

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The few, the proud, the Clippers …It’s hard to tell who the old guys are in this series. Six Spurs are in their 30s including Tim Duncan, who’ll be 39 for Game 4; Manu Ginobili, 37; and Tony Parker, 32, assuming that was him getting outscored 52-11 by Chris Paul in Games 1 and 2.The Clippers are the athletic, highlight-reel team with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, both 26, and CP3, 29.Happily for the Spurs, just when they were about to be thrown on the garbage heap of NBA history — starting in 2008 when CP3’s New Orleans Hornets stunned them in the second round — they built a new, young team around their venerable Big Three. Unhappily for the Clippers, they’re still working on a supporting cast for their dynamic, young Big Three.Remember those posters coach Doc Rivers put up of his players, covering the Laker banners?If you look up there now, you see the starting five flanked by Jamal Crawford and some bearded guy I didn’t recognize right off.Oh, right, that’s Spencer Hawes. I didn’t recognize him without his ponytail.He was supposed to be an important piece, but it didn’t turn out that way. Four Clippers went 43 minutes or more in Wednesday’s overtime loss, but Hawes didn’t get on the floor.center_img And those, effectively, are your 2014-15 Clippers.However this series goes — and no, it’s not over, defeatist as Clippers tradition and Lakers fans would like to be — it’s not the old guys who are undermanned, seeing as how they have so much in the way of reinforcements.In Game 2, when the defending NBA champions walked the edge of a razor, their bench played 103 minutes to the Clipper reserves’ 47.Take out Ginobili and Crawford, who are essentially starters coming off the bench, and the Spurs’ reserves played 81 minutes to the Clippers’ 26, outscoring them 39-6.Rivers has a lot of ways to handle questions about his bench, including turning the pre-Game 1 media session into comedy standup when it started off with three questions about his bench.“Maybe we’re exaggerating the importance of the bench,” began the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Plaschke, about to ask another.“Apparently,” said Rivers, laughing. “That’s four questions.”Solutions require something more, like clearing out most of their reserves and getting better ones. Rivers hasn’t been able to and won’t get another shot until summer.So what happened to get the Clippers into this predicament?Two things. Rivers was a veteran coach but, effectively, a rookie GM when he arrived in 2013.Rivers took over a skeleton staff, owner Donald T. Sterling’s interpretation of lean and mean.The summer before, they lost GM Neil Olshey after letting his contract run out. Sterling, typically, put off any thought about an extension — this was the guy who had just landed CP3 — only to see Portland’s Paul Allen swoop in and hire him away.That summer, a committee handled personnel: coach Vinny del Negro, team president Andy Roeser, newly promoted GM Gary Sacks, and, in effect, CP3 as lead recruiter.By the way, they did great, signing Crawford, Barnes, Lamar Odom, Grant Hill and fielding the NBA’s highest-scoring bench.Rivers’ early choices — surely with help from CP3 — looked solid but didn’t turn out that way.When they made good ones — signing Darren Collison — they wound up with nothing to show for it.Collison backed up Paul brilliantly, but with Glen Davis, who’s really 6-7 3/4, forced to spell Jordan, the priority was a backup center, preferably one with shooting range.Hawes looked perfect, having just averaged 13.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and made 40 percent of his 3-pointers starting in Philadelphia.Well, he was perfect until he got here and his game went missing.“I’ve seen guys have horrible regular seasons and then break out in the playoffs,” said Rivers in March. “We still believe in him, just like the other 20 teams that wanted to sign him in the league.”It was worse than that. To get the money to sign Hawes, they had to cut Collison.To replace Collison, they signed Jordan Farmar, coming off his second Laker stint in which he reportedly alienated everyone on the staff.That was a non-starter, or at least a non-finisher. Farmar was cut Jan. 16.Rivers then brought in his son, a quirky hire since Austin wasn’t a point guard or a veteran with an established game.Rivers now has former assistants Dave Wohl (who worked under Doc in Orlando and Boston) and Kevin Eastman in the front office.So it’s a skeleton staff no longer, nor is there a rookie personnel guy in charge.Aside from that, the challenge remains.last_img read more

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It is time to pamper yourself with moisturizing body soaps, lotions, and even a moisturizing foot kit

first_imgKelly General Store at 314 E. Harvey.Kelly General Store, Inc.Where: 314 E. Harvey, Wellington, Kans.Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Call: 620-326-2020. Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kellygenstore/?fref=tsWhile everyone knows that Kelly General Store, Inc. at 314 E. Harvey has a wide variety of items ranging from home decor to fresh flowers, it is also a great place to pick up items that will allow you to indulge yourself!“Simply Be Well” moisturizing body soaps are simply amazing. The Kelly General Store offers those plant based soaps in three scents including Crushed Blueberry, Almond Milk and Lemon Poppy. They smell wonderful!But that’s not all. Kelly General now carries lotions and body mist from the San Francisco Soap Company. We have lavender, kiwi melon and cherry blossom as well as lotus blossom and jasmine in stock.Do your feet hurt after a long day at work? Our “pamper your tootsies” moisturizing foot kit is now available. Pamper yourself today.Don’t forget! To call Kelly General Store for any of your floral needs, including sympathy and arrangements. We also have green and blooming plants in stock as well as a wide variety of decorative signs for your home.last_img read more

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