Chiron flu vaccine license suspension lifted

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 21, 2005

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Chiron Corp. announced early this month that it would start work toward producing flu vaccine for next season.

This action comes in response to the reinstatement -- also in March -- of Chiron's influenza vaccine manufacturing license by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the United Kingdom's Food and Drug Administration equivalent.

This past season's shortage resulted when the company's license was suspended in October 2004 because of contamination problems. Flu vaccine experts since have been nervously monitoring developments.

Meanwhile, the UK agency's current policy is contingent on the company continuing to make improvements to their Liverpool, England factory.

"We are extremely proud of this result," said Chiron Chief Executive Howard Pien. "In this new beginning, we remain focused on continuing to remediate and improve so Chiron can successfully deliver on the results required to supply influenza vaccine for the 2005-2006 season."

The FDA issued a statement declaring the action a "important milestone" but added that work remains before it will issue approval for next season. Both agencies will continue to monitor the situation.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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