“Acknowledging that the development of medical countermeasures against bioterrorism threats and pandemic flu is lagging, [U.S.] federal authorities Thursday announced a $1.9 billion makeover of the system for identifying and manufacturing drugs and vaccines for public-health emergencies,” Tribune Company/Seattle Times reports. “The overhaul includes manufacturing refinements aimed at shaving weeks off the time it takes to produce pandemic flu vaccine and a series of steps aimed at more quickly detecting promising scientific discoveries and getting them to market,” the news service writes (Zajac, 8/19).
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Active TB “Genetic Signature” Found ResearchersÂ haveÂ identifiedÂ a “genetic signature” in the blood of active tuberculosis patients in the U.K. and South Africa that could one day lead to a test to predict who among latent carriersÂ might develop the disease, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, Reuters reports…
Reuters reports on how some health experts worry that growing complacency about the threat of measles in Africa is contributing to “some of [the continent's] largest and most deadly outbreaks in years.” Worldwide, “[a]bout 164,000 people died from measles in 2008, down 78 percent from 733,000 in 2000, according to the Measles Initiative,” Reuters reports, adding that “UNICEF fears the combined effect of decreased political and financial commitment to measles could reverse the gains, resulting in an estimated 1.7 million measles-related deaths globally between 2010 and 2013.”
The BBC reports on discussions about childhood immunization at the International Pediatric Association (IPA) meeting last week in Johannesburg, South Africa. “Vaccines are a key plank in meeting Millennium Development Goal 4 â€“ to reduce child mortality by two thirds by 2015 â€“ and many sessions at the congress were devoted to them,” the news service writes.
Global vaccine sales “grew by a healthy 16 percent last year, when sales shot up to $22.1 billion, healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information reported Friday,” according to Associated Press. Kalorama is also forecasting sales “will rise at a compound annual rate of 9.7 percent during the next five years,” (Johnson, 8/14).
Five of the fifteen experts advising the WHO on H1N1 (swine flu) had ties to the pharmaceutical industry, “including for flu vaccine research,” according to the Emergency Committee members’ list released by the agency Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reports.
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UNAIDS Calls On Cities To Enhance Response To HIV; China Vows To Step Up Prevention UNAIDS has “issued a call for cities to ‘take the lead in making HIV history’ by enhancing their response to the epidemic,” UN News Centre reports. The article notes that in the next four decades,…
Following the WHO’s decision on Tuesday to declare the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic over, several news outlets reviewed the emergence of the virus around the world, exploring how some of the lessons learned from H1N1 could assist the WHO’s handling of future outbreaks.
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Crucell And Harvard To Test Experimental AIDS Vaccine In Uninfected Adults The pharmaceutical company Crucell, in collaboration with Harvard University, “plans to test its experimental AIDS vaccine in the U.S. and in Africa, advancing the quest for a protective shot against” HIV, Bloomberg reports. The trial will test the vaccine…
“World Health Organisation Director-General Margaret Chan announced Tuesday the end of the [H1N1] swine flu pandemic, more than a year after it was declared,” Agence France-Presse reports. “The world is no longer in phase 6 of influenza pandemic alert. We are now moving into the post-pandemic period,” Chan said during a virtual press conference from Hong Kong, according to a WHO press release.