NEWS SCAN: Cell-based flu vaccine trial, Salmonella risk in sesame seeds

Mar 15, 2010

Baxter reports good results in phase 3 trial of cell-based flu vaccine
Baxter International Inc. and Dynport Vaccine Co. recently reported good results in a large phase 3 trial of Preflucel, a cell-based influenza vaccine. The study showed a 78% protection rate against culture-confirmed infections with the flu strains in the vaccine and 71% protection from all circulating flu strains, the companies reported in a news release. The trial involved more than 7,000 young adults and was conducted during the 2008-09 flu season in the United States; data were presented at the International Congress on Infectious Disease in Miami on Mar 11. Investigators also assessed antibody responses and found that the results satisfied the immunogenicity criteria of the European Medicines Agency, the companies said. The vaccine's safety profile was found to be similar to that of licensed egg-based flu vaccines. The vaccine is grown in Vero cell cultures and is formulated without preservatives or adjuvants. No cell-based flu vaccine has yet been licensed in the United States, though such vaccines have been approved in Europe. The trial was funded by the US government.
Mar 11 Baxter news release

Salmonella contamination prompts sesame seed recall
Concern about possible Salmonella contamination prompted a California company on Mar 13 to recall sesame seeds that it had distributed in late 2009, though the firm said it had not received any illness reports, according to a notice from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The recall from Spice Industrial Group Inc. applies to 5-pound bags of Lian How brand white sesame seeds that were distributed to retail, restaurant, and wholesale customers in Southern California between Nov 5 and Dec 11. The company said its supplier of the sesame seeds, Specialty Commodities Corp., notified it about the possible contamination. The sesame seed recall adds to a growing list of Salmonella contamination events that have spurred food recalls so far this year. Contaminated red and black pepper has led to the recall of salami and sausage products from Daniele International Inc., as well as the pepper products themselves. This constellation of contaminated products is linked to an outbreak that has sickened 249 patients in 44 states. Earlier this month, Basic Food Flavors Inc., Las Vegas, recalled hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) because of Salmonella contamination, which has led to dozens of recalls of foods containing HVP. However, no illnesses have been reported in connection with the HVP recalls.
Mar 13 FDA statement

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