Pharma giant Novartis working on H7N9 vaccine
Geneva: Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis is researching a vaccine for the H7N9 strain of bird flu, its chief executive said today, amid fears that the disease could mutate into a form that spreads among people.
In an interview with the Swiss daily Tagesanzeiger, Joe Jimenez said that Novartis had already analysed the virus` genetic codes, which have been published by Chinese authorities.
Jimenez said that Novartis "would today be in a position to develop a vaccine for initial clinical trials within six to eight weeks".
"The need is theoretical for now," he added.
Since the discovery of the first cases several weeks ago in China, a total of 108 people have been confirmed as being infected with the H7N9 virus, of whom 22 have died, marking the first time the strain has claimed human lives.
Officials from the World Health Organisation have underlined that the strain is therefore one of the deadliest of the many forms of flu carried by birds and posing various degrees of risk to humans.
Yesterday, Taiwan recorded the first case outside China, in a man who had recently returned from working there.
There have been no recorded cases to human-to-human transmission, but the spectre of a form of the virus being able to jump between people has placed global health officials on alert.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Indrani 'slow-poisoned' Sheena, wanted to portray Mikhail as 'mentally unstable'?
- 'Mann ki Baat': Will implement 13 new pointers to Land Bill from today itself, says PM Modi
- People have no faith left in Modi government: Sonia Gandhi at Swabhiman rally
- Will not allow any political party to join agitation: Hardik Patel
- Swabhiman rally: About Bihar's development or Narendra Modi?
- Sheena Bora murder case: Indrani Mukerjea's ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna, driver taken to Raigad to recreate crime scene
- Satire website publishes article on Osama bin Laden being alive and quotes Edward Snowden
- Indrani's former brother-in-law claims Sheena was Siddharth Das' daughter
- Sheena murder: Suitcase seized from Indrani, Peter's residence meant for disposing Mikhail's body?
- Militants kill two engineers in Pakistan airport attack