"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 7th Dec 2017

Seqirus mentions
UK trumpets life sciences post-Brexit ‘sector deal’
The UK government has secured commitments from 25 international organisations that it says will ensure the country remains a pharma hub after it leaves the EU. MSD, GSK and AstraZeneca projects were highlighted, as well as a $100m contract from The Medicines Company to test a cholesterol-lowering drug at the University of Oxford’s clinical trials unit, a £40m investment from Seqirus to build a fill-and-finish vaccine plant in Liverpool and an initiative between Janssen and the University of Oxford to find novel clinical trial approaches for mental health disorders
Seqirus readies for $9M expansion project in Holly Springs
Two years after CSL acquired Novartis' global influenza vaccine business for $275 million, Seqirus continues to ramp up production at its Holly Springs site. And now the company is preparing for a $9 million facility expansion for a new, 15,000-square-foot warehouse to support the company’s growth in manufacturing activity, says Seqirus VP of Operations and Holly Springs Site Head Dr. John Anderson. Seqirus will hold a groundbreaking for the new warehouse Thursday, with expected completion in just under a year, he says
Pandemic Influenza News
Veterinary Services continues state of emergency to face Bird Flu
In Egypt, the General Authority for Veterinary Services at the Ministry of Agriculture announced the continuation of the state of emergency in Egyptian governorates to face bird flu. The Central Administration started implementing a number of precautionary measures to combat strands of bird flu that appeared in 2015 and 2016, H5N1 and H5N8, respectively. Agriculture Ministry officials have issued statements confirming that there have been outbreaks of H5N8 in several governorates this year
AU tackles bird flu
Veterinary experts of the African Union have expressed concern over the menace of bird flu, describing it as a serious threat to human lives, food security, birds and African economy. They made their position known during the opening ceremony of a four-day regional laboratory workshop on the diagnosis and characterisation of influenza disease, to discuss means of eradicating avian influenza from the African continent
China aids Pampanga in bird flu fight
China on Tuesday gave P7.7 million to the Pampanga provincial government to help prevent future avian influenza infestations in the province. Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua described the donation as the “first step” in helping prevent avian influenza in the province
Industry News
Third Respiratory Assay Now FDA Cleared on Hologic's New Panther Fusion System
Hologic announced today that it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. FDA for its Panther Fusion AdV/hMPV/RV assay, a multiplexed assay that runs on the new Panther Fusion system. The new assay detects Adenovirus, human Metapneumovirus, and Rhinovirus. It is the third diagnostic assay available on the Panther Fusion system, complementing the Panther Fusion Flu A/B/RSV assay and the Panther Fusion Paraflu assay, which both received clearance in October 2017.
Flu cases double as experts worry this season could be particularly bad
This year's flu vaccine may not be as helpful as in years past. The one used in Australia was only 10 percent effective. Researchers warned the implications for the Northern Hemisphere may not be the same, although the vaccine Australia used has the same composition as the one the U.S. is using. As of Nov. 24, about 148.2 million doses of the vaccine have already been administered in the U.S. A spokeswoman for Sanofi Pasteur cautioned the research only analyzed Australia, so these findings may not reflect what will happen in the U.S.
15 For '18: Key Clinical Data to Watch For Next Year
Among some of 2018’s most important clinical data are Moderna's experimental mRNA flu vaccines. This year, Moderna reported that its two experimental mRNA flu vaccines were well tolerated. Next year, Moderna plans to publish complete findings from the phase 1 studies of mRNA-1440 and mRNA-1851, meant to protect against the H10N8 and H7N9 flu strains, respectively. Both strains are thought to have pandemic potential
The 2 Likely Reasons Novavax Rocketed Higher by 25% in November
Shares of Novavax surged by 25% during the month of November, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The reasoning for the move appears to be traceable to two catalysts: encouraging third-quarter results and also the expectation of a topline readout in its phase 1/2 clinical trial involving NanoFlu before the end of the year
Majority of Adults Are Unaware of Recommended Adult Vaccines
The majority of adults are uninformed about the vaccines that are recommended for their age, and many fail to receive the vaccines recommended in adulthood, according to a new Vaccinate for Life survey commissioned by GSK and conducted by Ipsos MORI. Leonard Friedland, MD, Vice President and Director of Scientific Affairs and Public Health, Vaccines, North America, for GSK said he believes the results of the survey indicate that adults are failing to take full advantage of the tools at their disposal to prevent serious illness and disease
Sanofi Discontinues Clostridium Difficile Candidate in Blow to Vaccine Unit
Shuttering of the Cdiffense program marks a second setback for Sanofi’s vaccines unit—albeit amid generally strong revenue growth, particularly in Europe. Unlike some of its peers in the industries, Sanofi has been investing more resources into vaccine development. Last month, the company announced that it would spend $200 million to expand a manufacturing facility in France to better support production demand for flu vaccines. And earlier this year, Sanofi bought Protein Sciences for $650 million upfront
Flu vaccinations at your local supermarket
The US healthcare industry is facing massive changes, as demonstrated by the upcoming purchase of Aetna health insurance by the largest US drug and pharmacy chain, CVS. This is one of the world's largest acquisitions this year. Including assumed debt is about a purchase price of about 77 billion US dollars (64.7 billion euros). The regulators and shareholders still have to agree. The merger is intended to create a new group in the field of healthcare and health care. Economists wonder if similar transactions will occur in Europe as well.
Academic studies
New clinician resource available explains biological impact of aging on immunity
The American College of Physicians (ACP), the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), and The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), representing 220,000 clinicians, today released "Aging and Immunity: The Important Role of Vaccines", a new resource highlighting the biological impact of aging on immunity. Developed with support by GSK, the guidebook is designed to help health care professionals understand the biological impact of aging on immunity and reinforce the importance of adult immunization, especially for vaccine-preventable diseases such as shingles, pneumonia, and influenza. The guidebook also offers practical tips and strategies for supporting aging patients' health and overcoming barriers to vaccination.
Flu Scan for Dec 06, 2017- Waning flu vaccine effect; Maternal flu vaccine protection
A new meta-analysis of 14 studies shows that vaccine effectiveness (VE) against influenza A H3N2 drops 33% within 6 months of immunization, while VE against influenza B declines by 19%. A small VE decline against influenza A H1N1 was not statistically significant. A study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases shows that prenatal maternal flu vaccination was associated with good protection against flu in infants.
Pediatric influenza news
Flu: San Matteo di Pavia clinic confirms the first strain of the A virus in a 4-year-old boy
The first influenza strain of H1N1 has been found at the San Matteo di Pavia, Laboratory of Microbiology and Virology. The virus structure confirms it. This first case of influenza A, communicated to the Istituto Superiore di Sanita , involved a small 4 year old boy origin residing in the province of Pavia, recently hospitalized at a Pediatric Clinic, he exhibited symptoms characterized by fever, vomiting and loss of appetite, " according to health workers.
Over 65’s influenza news
A retiree went to get vaccinated, saw the medical centre in poor condition and made a donation of $5000
A retiree went to get vaccinated, saw the medical centre in poor condition and made a donation of $5000. After receiving the vaccine, the man approached the health centre authorities, asked for an account number to make a donation and then did so. Then he took his receipt and the surprise came later from surprised employees. "He said he wanted to make a donation, and asked if it was possible to provide him with an account number to make the deposit, he was given the number and subsequently approached us with the deposit receipt," the director of the Health Region 3 of Santa Fe, Natalia Anaya told the local media." We could not believe it !"
New clinician resource available explains biological impact of aging on immunity and the importance of vaccines
The American College of Physicians, the American Pharmacists Association and the Gerontological Society of America have released 'Aging and Immunity: The Important Role of Vaccines', a new resource highlighting the biological impact of aging on immunity. Funded by GSK, the guidebook is designed to help health care professionals understand the biological impact of aging on immunity and reinforce the importance of adult immunization, especially for vaccine-preventable diseases such as shingles, pneumonia, and influenza
General Influenza News
New National Survey Suggests a Combination of Education, Access, and Incentives May Help Increase Flu Vaccination on College Campuses
Although most college students in the U.S. (70%) believe it is important to get an annual flu vaccine, less than half (46%) say they typically get vaccinated, according to results from a new National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) survey. The survey also uncovered new insights into increasing participation in vaccination programs on campuses, with access to the vaccine at low or no cost (61%) and incentives, such as free food or gift cards (61%), rising to the top of offerings that students say would have a lot of impact on the likelihood of getting vaccinated
Judge Orders Nurses Opposing Flu Vaccination to Comply
Suffolk Superior Court's Robert Tochka has ruled that those represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association must adhere to the vaccination policy set forth by Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Judge Tochka's action was in response to a lawsuit filed by the association, which represents 3,400 employees at the facility, alleging the hospital's requirement amounted to unfair control over personnel. However, in his decision issued Nov. 29, the judge disagreed.
Can the flu vaccine fail?
The composition of this year's flu vaccine could be less effective than hoped, US experts fear. Experts point to the recent Australian flu epidemic. More than 215,000 cases were reported by the Australian Ministry of Health by mid-October - almost four times as many cases as there were during swine flu pandemic in 2009. What exactly does that mean for the northern hemisphere is not yet in clear but experts at the American National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH), writing in the New England Journal of Medicine suggest we are in for a difficult winter flu season
Health funds in future will be able to reimburse quadrivalent vaccinations
Health funds will soon be in a position to reimburse patients who get quadrivalent flu vaccinations, not just trivalent vaccinations as at present. This will be thanks to the Robert Koch Institute's STIKO committee recent decision to back this form of vaccination in mid-November
Influenza: Commission recommends quadruple vaccination
To date, the Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) has recommended triple vaccination as flu protection. Now it has changed its recommendation and is in favor of a quadrivalent vaccine. Whether the quadruple vaccine will be refunded by health insurer funds, however, is as yet still unclear
Portalegre: Public health delegate calls for vaccination against extra strong flu virus strain
In Portugal, the Portalegre Public Health delegate, Margarida Silva, warned that the main flu virus that will circulate this winter is of a more aggressive strain, calling everyone to get vaccinated against the flu. Speaking to Radio Portalegre, Margarida Silva stressed the importance of vaccination, adding that health services in the district are "on constant alert" and are monitoring emergency patients with respiratory and influenza-like illness symptoms
5E decide to go and get mass vaccinated to as a gesture of solidarity to protect the sick
Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin warmly commended local school Amaldi di Novi Ligure Language School and class 5E, in particular, who collectively decided to go and get mass vaccinated as a gesture of solidarity to protect a sick classmate.
The effectiveness of the influenza vaccine questioned in Alberta
Health authorities in Alberta are asking the public to be vaccinated against the flu, despite indications that the vaccine given this season would not be effective against a dominant influenza strain. In the southern hemisphere, the vaccine was 10% effective for the H3N2 strain, which is expected to be the dominant strain in Alberta this winter. Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Alberta, says the warning signs in Australia indicate that health professionals should be prepared for the worst.
Patients will have to "sleep, take paracetamol and pray": Concerned doctors warn the NHS will not be able to cope
Patients will have to 'sleep, take paracetamol and pray', concerned doctors have warned ahead of the impending winter crisis. The NHS is expected to face unprecedented pressure in the coming months, and GPs are echoing the widespread worries. One GP said: 'One flu epidemic and my out-of-hours service will be in meltdown. It literally will be survival of the fittest."
What Australia's nasty flu outbreak tells us about what to expect in Kansas City
Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said in a phone interview that he wanted to make one thing clear: some protection against the flu is better than no protection. “It’s always better — always better — to be vaccinated than not vaccinated,” Fauci said. Mary Anne Jackson, the chief of the pediatric infectious diseases section at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, said like Fauci, she wanted to make sure people aren’t deterred from getting the current vaccine
The flu season has started
Data released by the Japanese health ministry shows that the 2017-2018 flu season has begun. The start of this flu season has been marked by concern over a possible shortage of vaccine due to confusion that occurred during the decision-making process for vaccine production. The health ministry at first decided to produce a type of vaccine that it thought would be more effective against the flu than the type that was used in the last flu season. After drugmakers found that they could not produce the new type of vaccine as efficiently as they had anticipated, a decision was eventually made to produce the same kind of vaccine as last season. That led to a delay in the start of vaccine production and a potential shortage
Flu season has arrived and it could be a bad one
Not only has flu season arrived early, but the U.S. may be particularly hard-hit. There are several different strains of flu viruses, and the main culprit in Australia was H3N2, but the flu vaccine was only 10% effective against that strain. Martin Hirsch, an infectious disease physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Infectious Diseases says that “even if the vaccine is only 10% effective against H3N2, the vaccine does protect against other strains that are circulating”
Flu warning: Killer strain set to be worst ever - vaccine only '10 per cent effective'
The US should expect the worst flu season in recent years, according to an expert. An outbreak of the H3N2 virus is expected - the same virus that has given Australia the worst outbreak of flu in 50 years. Infectious diseases specialist, Dr Pritish Tosh of the Mayo Clinic, warned that early indications of this year’s flu jab were that it was just 10 per cent effective. In the UK, a Public Health England spokeswoman said: “Although the effectiveness the past winter for people over 65 was lower than hoped for, this varies each year and the flu vaccination remains the best protection we have against the influenza virus”
List: 10 must-have vaccines for all ages
In the Philippines, Dr. Cecilia Montalban, president of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination and member of the National Immunization Technological Advisory Group of the World Health Organization, explains the importance of getting vaccinated 'from womb to tomb', including an annual flu shot, and criticises the spreading of fake news on vaccines through social media
Early predictions reveal flu vaccine isn't as effective as hoped
Early predictions reveal the flu vaccine isn't as effective as scientists hoped at keeping current circulating virus strains away. Doctors in Kentucky say the peak in flu season hasn't been hit yet, and that it's too early to tell if the vaccine is effective. Doctors don't want families skipping out on getting the vaccine this year just because of predictions
A jab protects you against the flu
Austrian people are being reminded that the annual immunization campaign against influenza can be life-saving for chronically ill or elderly people, even pregnant women should get vaccinated. Viral influenza claims around 1,000 lives per year, according to health experts, who urge everyone to get vaccinated
Mountain States: Flu cases are increasing in the region
During the holiday season, experts with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are anticipating a spike in flu cases, with a continued increase during flu season. To protect the community, Mountain States Health Alliance in Tennessee is urging everyone to get a flu shot if they haven’t already
Flu illness tracking season officially kicks off with Walgreen's latest Flu Index
Walgreens on Wednesday launched its first Flu Index for the 2017-18 season. The Flu Index is a weekly report that ranks the top markets and states for flu activity in the U.S., including Puerto Rico. Brownsville and Beaumont, Texas are among the top markets for flu this week, and Texas and Arkansas top the list of U.S. states with the most flu activity.
December 3-9th is National Influenza Vaccination Week
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has declared the first week in December National Influenza Vaccination Week. This week heightens awareness that the flu vaccine is still available for those who have not protected themselves against the ruthless virus
Flu cases showing up earlier than usual, could be harbinger of bad season: experts
The influenza season in Canada could be shaping up to be a potentially nasty one, with a mixed bag of viruses already circulating in much of the country, say infectious diseases experts. There are also concerns that this year's flu shot may not be all that effective in preventing the respiratory illness. In its weekly FluWatch report, the Public Health Agency of Canada says the annual sneezing-coughing season began early this year — especially with illness due to influenza B — and the percentage of laboratory-positive tests for flu is higher at this point on the calendar compared with previous seasons
Flu season 2017: is it too late to get a flu shot?
Flu is widespread in Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Oklahoma, and about 2 percent of doctor visits around the country were for illnesses that looked like the flu. Though the flu vaccine may not be perfect, doctors say that it’s still a good idea to get it to protect not only one's own health, but also the health of loved ones.
Fast approaching flu season has doctors pushing vaccinations
Several U.S. states are already getting local flu virus activity, including Michigan. Dr. Dan McGee, Pediatric Hospitalist at Helen Devos Children's Hospital, says 10 people have been hospitalized in Michigan because of the flu. He says even though these numbers are low, influenza is no joke. "One of the things I think is important to know is that last year over 100 people died of influenza in the United States," Dr. McGee said
Prepare for an Early Flu Season
Flu is unpredictable, and even though the season is starting, the distribution of circulating viruses could still change. Lynnette Brammer, MPH, an influenza epidemiologist at the CDC, is puzzled by some of the things she's seeing in the U.S. data. For instance, there hasn't been that much illness yet among children, who are generally considered to be amplifiers of flu. The data suggest that kids who have been sick have been catching H1N1, but not H3N2. "I don't know what that means. But it's sort of intriguing," Brammer said
More than 1.1 million people 65 and older have already been vaccinated against the flu vaccine
More than 1.1 million Portuguese aged 65 or older have already been vaccinated against the flu, according to new data from the Vaccinometer, released on Tuesday, which monitors influenza vaccination in priority groups. According to these indicators, since October 1, 58.3% of those aged 65 years and over have been immunized. 48.1% of those with chronic disease and 49.1% of health professionals with direct contact with patients also have been vaccinated against seasonal influenza.
Burden of disease
Young Mother Dies Just One Day After Flu Diagnosis
A 20-year-old mother of two children from Arizona, had passed away on Nov. 28, only a day after she was diagnosed with the flu. Her family describes her as a very healthy woman with no pre-existing health conditions. Despite being given Tamiflu, she eventually developed pneumonia and died in hospital
NIH & WHO Experts Warn of Severe Flu Season in the United States
Flu activity is now high in at least 3 states, according to the CDC's weekly FluView report for the week ending November 25, 2017. The report for Week 47 notes that influenza A continues to dominate the 2017-2018 flu season in the United States. The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness climbed above the national baseline of 2.2% for the first time to reach 2.3%, up from the previous week’s rate of 2.0%. Four states—Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma—are now reporting widespread flu activity, an increase from 2 states last week.
November sees spike in flu cases
In Mississippi, an unusual November cold snap may have contributed to an early outbreak of the flu in the Golden Triangle, mirroring trends happening across the nation, medical professionals say. Flu cases are striking entire families, and in these cases, healthcare staff try to treat the rest of the family with Tamiflu to stop the illness from spreading. Almost all the patients who have tested positive for the flu have not had a flu vaccination
A record 720,564 patients flooded NSW emergency departments this winter
An unprecedented number of patients flooded NSW emergency departments over this year's horror winter period, putting staff under immense pressure and severely affecting wait times at several Sydney hospitals. AMA NSW president Dr Brad Frankum said there was no doubt the horrendous flu season was to blame for some of increase. Health authorities recorded 103,193 confirmed flu cases from January to November 2017, almost triple the 2016 total of 35,537
Number of confirmed flu cases here rising
According to the Arkansas Department of Health, since Oct. 1, over 2,500 positive influenza tests have been reported to the ADH online database by health care providers. Through the last week of November, 54 of the state’s 75 counties reported influenza cases.
Flu cases double last year's total, CDC says
More than 7,000 cases of influenza have been confirmed in the U.S. so far this flu season -- more than double the number this time last year, CBS News reported, citing data from the CDC. The latest death attributed to the flu was a woman from Arizona. Her case increased the influenza death toll to eight adults nationwide. This season so far, Oklahoma has seen two fatalities from influenza, while five deaths related to the flu were reported in North Carolina
Influenza claims two lives in Flathead County
In Montana, two Flathead County residents have died from the flu, marking the state’s first influenza-related deaths this season, the Flathead City-County Health Department reported Wednesday. Both deceased residents were over the age of 65. Last year, the flu claimed the lives of 56 Montanans, including seven who lived in Flathead County