Chiron vaccine facility will miss Begrivac production targets

Related tags Influenza vaccine Vaccine Influenza Flu vaccine

Chiron says it will be unable to supply any Begrivac influenza
vaccine to markets outside the US during the 2005/6 flu season,
just days after admitting it has sterility problems at a
manufacturing plant.

Last week, the company announced that it had had to stop production at a plant in Marburg, Germany, mainly supplying the UK and German markets, because of quality control and sterility issues.

At the time the firm cut the number of vaccine units it expected to ship to non-US markets from 12 million to four million, while cautioning that this estimate assumed it could meet its target of resuming production in October and covering the shortfall with flu vaccine made at another facility in Siena, Italy.

Now, Chiron says that further testing has confirmed it will not be able to supply any Begrivac from the plant, although it stressed it is still working to cover the vaccine shortfall with other non-US influenza vaccines.

The company insists that there will be no change to its full-year 2005 financial guidance, despite the problems.

The company is only just starting to emerge from the serious production problems at its facility in Liverpool, UK, which had to cease production of the Fluvirin flu vaccine last year as a result of contamination problems. A US Food and Drug Administration inspection of the UK plant is currently underway.

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