"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 8th Nov 2017

Seqirus mentions
Industry's favored flu shot production process hurt efficacy last year: study
Vaccine producers have made flu shots with eggs for decades, but a new study says the manufacturing process curbed the efficacy of last year's shot and warns that the problem could repeat this year. A vast majority of flu vaccines are still made with eggs by the market's top players—Sanofi, Seqirus and GlaxoSmithKline—but industry has been working to advance cell-based options. Seqirus over the summer touted its industry-leading capacity for large-scale production of cell-based shots
How the incredible, edible egg may actually be hampering your flu vaccine
The U.S. government office charged with preparing the country to deal with flu pandemics has recognized the limitations of egg-based flu vaccine production for a while. For more than a decade BARDA has been working with manufacturers to encourage them to move some portion of production out of eggs. Its funding helped foster development of the two flu vaccines on the market that aren’t made in eggs — FluBlok, a recombinant vaccine developed by Protein Sciences (recently acquired by Sanofi Pasteur) and Flucelvax, produced in the U.S. by Seqirus
Outdated technology makes flu vaccine only 20 percent effective
Last year's flu vaccine should have matched the circulating virus strains that made people sick, but it was only 43 percent effective. This year's flu vaccine will be only 20 percent effective, and it's due to chicken eggs. There are currently two non-chicken egg flu vaccines made in the U.S. One is FLUCELVAX, and is grown in canine kidney cells, and the second, Flublok, is grown in insect cells
Seniors have a few flu shot options
There are two different flu shots — Fluzone High Dose and FLUAD — that are designed specifically for people age 65 and older. Available in the U.S. since last year, FLUAD contains an added ingredient called adjuvant MF59 that also helps create a stronger immune response. In a 2012 Canadian observational study, FLUAD was 63 percent more effective than a regular flu shot
Doc: Primer on the 2017 flu season vaccines
Adults over 65 may benefit more from the high-dose trivalent vaccine (Fluzone High-Dose) or from Fluad, which contains an adjuvant. Adults age 18-64 with fear of needles might consider the intradermal low-dose quadrivalent vaccine (Fluzone intradermal). This uses a tiny (1.5-mm), ultra-thin needle. Another option for people with needle phobia is the standard trivalent vaccine (Afluria) using a jet injector device
BioCryst Reports Third Quarter 2017 Financial Results
BioCryst announced today its financial results. For the nine months ended September 30, 2017, revenues increased to $21.3 million from $17.4 million in the first nine months of 2016. The increase in revenue was primarily due to $7.0 million of milestone payments associated with the Canadian regulatory and FDA sNDA approvals of RAPIVAB, and to a lesser extent a $1.2 million increase in royalty revenue from Shionogi, Green Cross Corporation and Seqirus
Pandemic Influenza News
MoU signed for Bhutan One Health Strategic plan
The Health Ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, and other relevant stakeholders. It was signed to implement the Bhutan One Health Strategic Plan for prevention of emerging and re-emerging infectious zoonotic diseases. Infectious zoonotic diseases such as rabies, highly pathogenic avian influenza caused by H5N1 virus have been a major driver for the adaptation of a one health approach to disease management
Experts fear increased risk of bird flu again
Tens of thousands of animals were slaughtered during the bird flu epidemic last winter. During the recent summer the virus disappeared. Is it coming back? Experts expect that it will.
Italy: IZSV Reports 8 New Avian Flu Outbreaks
Although the IZSV website hasn't posted their standard narrative yet, they've updated their map and PDF files, showing 8 new avian flu outbreaks since last Monday's report. Additionally, Asti Province reported its first bird flu outbreak of 2017
New bird flu alert service launched as threat level is raised from low to medium
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in England has raised the risk level for an incursion of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in wild birds to ‘MEDIUM’. The risk for poultry remains ‘LOW’ for introduction of infection onto individual premises, but will depend on fowl farmers’ levels of biosecurity
Industry News
Alvogen becomes first authorised to commercialise generic equivalent for Tamiflu in powder form for oral suspension
Alvogen has received authorisation from the FDA for commercialisation in the U.S. of its generic equivalent of Tamiflu in 6mg powder form for oral suspension
Novavax Reports Third Quarter 2017 Financial Results
Novavax announced its financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2017. “We were very pleased to initiate and fully enroll the Phase 1/2 clinical trial of our NanoFlu vaccine candidate in older adults, following impressive results in preclinical challenge models. Given this timing, we are well positioned to announce data from the ongoing trial before the end of the year,” said Stanley C. Erck, President and CEO
Sanofi's vaccines pick up pharma's slack—again—even as Dengvaxia languishes
Anyone hoping the launch for Sanofi's world-first dengue vaccine would ramp up after a lackluster first year is feeling only disappointment so far in 2017. Luckily for the French drugmaker, its other immunizations are performing far better. Sales for flu vaccines grew 1.8% to €951 million over last year
Academic studies
Flu Vaccine Impeded by Mutation Last Year, May Underperform This Year, Too
Last year’s influenza vaccine only demonstrated 20% to 30% effectiveness—a low level of performance attributed to an adaptive mutation that affected egg-grown vaccines, but not vaccines that were produced in non-egg systems. The adaptive mutation, which was uncovered by scientists based at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, affects a hemagglutinin (HA) protein that occurs in H3N2 viruses. “The 2017 vaccine that people are getting now has the same H3N2 strain as the 2016 vaccine,” noted Scott Hensley, Ph.D., an associate professor of microbiolog. “So, this could be another difficult year if this season is dominated by H3N2 viruses again”
Rheumatism: Suspend methotrexate after flu shot for two weeks
A two-week medication break from methotrexate, the most commonly used basic rheumatic drug, may increase the protective effect after a flu shot. This came out in a randomized study, the results of which were presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in San Diego.
Individual versus superensemble forecasts of seasonal influenza outbreaks in the United States
Recent research has produced a number of methods for forecasting seasonal influenza outbreaks. However, differences among the predicted outcomes of competing forecast methods can limit their use in decision-making. A new study used a method for reconciling these differences with Bayesian model averaging
How Effective Are Influenza Vaccines?
Most healthcare providers are aware of the lack of effectiveness of the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), apparent in recent flu seasons. Some also were surprised by what appeared to be a relatively low effectiveness rate for the other flu vaccines
Flu vaccine will NOT stop most people getting infected this winter as Aussie flu that caused havoc down under looks set to hit the UK
The flu vaccine may only be 20 per cent effective this winter, researchers predict as the threat of a severe outbreak lies ahead. A study found H3N2, the same strain which blighted Australia and caused an influx of cases during their winter, has mutated. Scientists blame the 70-year-old manufacturing process of the vaccine, warning it has allowed the aggressive strain to escape detection
Pediatric influenza news
Influenza vaccines in pediatric ERs likely cost-effective
Rebecca J. Hart, M.D., from the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and colleagues compared the cost-effectiveness of four strategies for PED-based influenza vaccine: offering vaccine to all patients, only to patients <5 years, only to high-risk patients (all ages), or to no patients.The researchers found that offering influenza vaccine to all eligible patients had the lowest cost ($114.45 per case of influenza averted)
Flu: Ontario will keep offering nasal flu vaccine for children
In Canada, Ontario health authorities are offering the FluMist nasal flu vaccine to children this season, whereas it isn't offered any longer in the U.S. where it isn't deemed efficient enough
Over 65’s influenza news

No News Recorded

General Influenza News
The Apulia flu vaccination campaign is underway with the goal of immunizing up to 75% of those most at risk
The flu could start at any moment so the Apulia Region is preparing to defend itself. There are 860,000 doses purchased to vaccinate the population at risk - mainly the over 65 - and this year the region is aiming to reach 75% coverage, the minimum target set by the Ministry of Health. Last year, only 58% of those at risk were vaccinated, a very low percentage and, incidentally, the influenza hit 183,000 people, causing 4 deaths.
With 95,000 flu vaccine doses at the ready the campaign to protect the region from flu begins
The health region stands ready to use all its resources to fight the spread of flu and protect the most vulnerable with 95,000 flu vaccine doses and 220 pharmacies supporting the GP's in delivering them
Majority of adults in Brazil aren't up-to-date with their vaccinations
A new report showed that the majority of adults in Brazil are not up-to-date with the recommended vaccines; this is due to a lack of knowledge and in some cases, affordability. Over the past two years, 58% of adults received the flu vaccine in Brazil, making it the most popular vaccine for the over 18s
No more than 20 % of Hospital staff in Tours, France, have been vaccinated against the flu
The flu vaccination campaign launched in France a month ago isn't proving very successful with heathcare staff of the hospital in Tours, as no more than 20% have been immunised so far. The vaccine stopped being compulsory for hospital staff in 2006
Béziers: 'Grippo-Tour', a local pro flu vaccine campaign
In Beziers, France, a group of doctors, nurses and pharmacists have launched a local campaign in favour of the flu vaccine. They are raising awareness of the dangers of the flu and of the fact it can be deadly
Regulator adds to winter warning for nurses to ‘get flu jab’
The Nursing and Midwifery Council has added its voice to calls for all registered nurses and midwives to get their flu jab ahead of the coming winter period, which is predicted to be tougher than normal. NMC chief executive and registrar, Jackie Smith, said: “I strongly encourage all nurses and midwives across the UK to get their flu jab"
Ahead of flu season, flu vaccines in Estonia already sold out
Flu vaccine producers planned on bringing 63,000 doses of flu vaccines to Estonia for this year, a quarter more than last season. Before the flu season has even begun, however, these vaccines have already all sold out
Hospital staff offered free meal if they have a flu jab
After successfully vaccinating against the flu more than three quarters of its staff last year, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will again give staff meal vouchers if they get a flu jab. The motivation behind the scheme is for the trust to secure £500,000 if 70 per cent of its frontline staff are vaccinated
Burden of disease
This year showing signs of early flu season, says chief public health officer
In Canada, there are signs the flu will arrive early on P.E.I., according to the province's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison. Morrison said there have been six confirmed cases of flu on the Island so far this fall. Some early cases are not unusual, she said, but there are signs in other provinces as well
Health officials warn of bad flu season
According to health officials, two people in North Carolina have died from the flu so far this season. Dr. Mullendore, Medical Director at Buncombe County Health and Human Services, says it's particularly important for people to stay home when they're sick, wash their hands, and get a flu shot
Nebraska hospital sees patient infected with swine flu
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reported a case of H3N2v in a patient. The infected person informed officials they had no contact with any hogs the week prior to becoming ill. However, a household member had in fact had exposure to pigs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported