Novavax has decided to discontinue manufacturing a menopause drug so that it can "focus on its vaccine business and reduce cash burn". The company was making the estrogen product Estrasorb for Allergan, as part of the terms of an agreement made when Novavax licensed the product to Allergan in 2006, however, it has been wanting to exit the arrangement for some time, as this manufacturing activity was not seen as core to the business. Novavax will now complete making the remaining orders under the product agreement after which point the manufacturing facility in Philadelphia will be closed over the next few months. Allergan plans to continue selling Estrasorb from available inventory although it is unknown whether it is now seeking a new manufacturing partner. In other news, Advaxis has asked UK-based Cobra Biomanufacturing to make its cervical cancer vaccine, Lovaxin C, for Phase II clinical trials. The two firms have already been working together on this drug since 2003. In the past week, Catalent Pharma Solutions has announced a new addition to its process analytical technologies (PAT) capability. According to the US firm, it is one of the first to offer its customers rapid microbial methods (RMM) to detect the presence of microbial organisms as part of its sterile product development and manufacturing services. The advantage being that RMM uses flow cytometry and fluorescent cell labelling technologies which can expedite microbial detection to only one day versus traditional methods that can last five to seven days for microbial limits testing (MLT) and 14 days or more for sterility testing, said the firm. "RMM provides real time identification of issues, enabling manufacturers to respond in a timely fashion… minimising the downsides of having batches sit for weeks while awaiting traditional microbial testing… and minimising regulatory risk and plant downtime". Initially, Catalent said it will apply this technology to water testing, product bioburden testing and media fills for line qualification and environmental monitoring, although in the future it will extend this to clinical and commercial product release testing. Meanwhile, India's Suven Life Sciences has been enlisted by the University of Minnesota to help it develop new and inexpensive therapies to treat HIV-1. The US Center for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Translational Research (CIDMTR) is also involved in the new partnership, which aims to explore clinical efficacy of certain naturally occurring substances that are believed to have therapeutic value against this deadly virus.