Novartis starts testing its swine flu vaccine

London: Swiss drug maker Novartis has begun
injecting its swine flu vaccine into people in the company`s
first human tests, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

The vaccine is being tested in a yearlong trial of 6,000
people of all ages in Britain, Germany and the United States,
Novartis spokesman Eric Althoff told agency,
adding that the vaccine will likely be on the market before
the trial finishes.

A person in Britain became the first to get the swine flu
vaccine about 10 days ago, he said.

Since swine flu was declared to be a pandemic, or global
outbreak, by the World Health Organization in June,
pharmaceuticals have been racing to get their vaccines ready.

Last month, Australian drugmaker CSL became the first
vaccine maker to start testing its vaccine in humans in

"We initiated clinical trials about 10 days ago," Althoff

Half of Novartis` vaccines being tested are grown in
chicken eggs, the traditional way of making flu vaccines,
while the other half use a new cell-based technology.

The trial will test the vaccine`s safety and whether one
or two shots are necessary.

"Our assumption is that two doses will be required,"
Althoff said.

Bureau Report

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