If the H7N9 influenza virus now circulating in China evolves into a pandemic strain, the world is likely to have great difficulty providing adequate supplies of an effective vaccine in time to blunt its impact, according to a viewpoint article by three experts in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
(CIDRAP News) – A year-long voluntary moratorium on research involving transmissible H5N1 avian flu viruses ended today with a letter from a group of scientists that supports resuming the work in countries that have addressed the biosafety issues involved.
(CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first influenza vaccine produced with the help of an insect virus and recombinant DNA technology, an approach the agency says may make it possible to start production faster in the event of a flu pandemic.
(CIDRAP News) – A new report from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offers a few predictions on when certain new countermeasures against biological threats will become available, including a forecast for two novel influenza drugs and possibly a next-generation anthrax vaccine within the next 5 years.
(CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday approved the nation's first cell-based flu vaccine, a product from Novartis that uses technology that could help vaccinate more Americans in a pandemic but still has many of the same limitations of older egg-based flu vaccines.
In the wake of a newspaper investigation that questioned the value of the federal BioWatch program for detecting dangerous airborne pathogens, some public health officials familiar with the program acknowledge that it's far from perfect, but they say it's not time to scrap it.
(CIDRAP News) – A study showing that it takes as few as five mutations to turn the H5N1 avian influenza virus into an airborne spreader in mammals—and that launched a historic debate on scientific accountability and transparency—was released today in Science, spilling the full experimental details that many experts had sought to suppress out of concern that publishing them could lead to the unleashing of a dangerous virus.
(CIDRAP News) – Spurred by events surrounding two controversial H5N1 transmission studies, a US Senate committee today questioned federal officials whose agencies have a stake in dual-use research of concern (DURC) about the procedures they use to spot possible bioterror threats.