NIAID, MedImmune team up to develop pandemic flu vaccines

first_imgSep 28, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The federal government and MedImmune Inc. announced today they will collaborate to develop vaccines for potential pandemic strains of influenza, using the technology that was used to create the company’s nasal-spray flu vaccine, FluMist.The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will work with MedImmune, based in Gaithersburg, Md., to develop vaccines for many flu virus strains, a project that will take years, according to a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcement.The company said in a news release, “MedImmune scientists will work together with leading researchers of the NIAID Laboratory of Infectious Diseases to produce and test versions of MedImmune’s attenuated, live intranasal influenza vaccine for use against different types of potential pandemic influenza strains, including one based on H5N1,” the avian flu strain now endemic in Southeast Asia.HHS said the plan calls for inserting “selected genes from avian flu viruses with pandemic potential into a weakened human flu virus” to create several live virus vaccine candidates. The NIAID part of the effort will be led by Kanta Subbarao, MD, MPH, and Brian Murphy, MD.HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said the partnership “will help speed the process of developing vaccines we will need to fight an outbreak if the avian flu starts to spread rapidly through the human population.”NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, MD, said he couldn’t predict how long it might take to ready the first candidate vaccines for clinical trials. “But given the fact that these are things we do regularly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the first one went into clinical trials in a year or two,” he told CIDRAP News.NIAID and MedImmune will develop at least one vaccine for each of the 16 different forms of hemagglutinin, a key protein on the surface of flu viruses, HHS officials said. (Hemagglutinin is represented by the H in the names of flu strains, such as H5N1.)The partners “will develop vaccines for the highest priority hemagglutinin subtypes first,” HHS said. “The researchers say it will take years to systematically develop vaccines for all the hemagglutinin subtypes. Having effective vaccines against all subtypes will help us prepare for influenza pandemics in the future, explains NIAID’s Dr. Subbarao.”Fauci said there is no preset time frame for the collaboration. “They’re just going to work closely and aggressively to get this library of viruses that covers the entire span of the hemagglutinin spectrum,” he said. “This is a years-long collaboration; it’s not going to be six months or something like that.”HHS and MedImmune officials wouldn’t say how the partnership will work financially.”What I can say is that MedImmune will not be reimbursed for any costs associated with development of vaccines, because MedImmune and NIAID are truly working in collaboration,” MedImmune spokeswoman Clarencia Stephen told CIDRAP News.The company said live attenuated vaccines may generate a broader immune response than injected vaccines. “One of the unique attributes of FluMist is that it provides both local and systemic immunity,” said Stephen. “It first induces an immune response in the nose, because it’s administered as a mist in the nose, and that’s typically where the flu virus enters the body. And then it also works systemically through the bloodstream.Fauci agreed that live vaccines can trigger “a more potent and broader immune response.” He added, “That’s very important when you’re dealing with pandemic flu. Virus drifts from the original vaccine, so you want a vaccine that covers that drift. Live vaccines do that better than killed vaccines.”HHS said the partners will develop many of the vaccines in the NIAID’s labs in Bethesda, Md. “Both NIAID and MedImmune will initially conduct laboratory studies of the vaccines,” the announcement said. “MedImmune then will manufacture the vaccines for human clinical trials, which NIAID will run through a contract facility, pending Food and Drug Administration approval.”The plan calls for the partners to use reverse genetics and “classical reassortment” to insert hemagglutinin genes into a weakened human flu virus, according to HHS. Reverse genetics is the use of lab methods to “custom make” a vaccine by assembling genes that code for desired features. Reassortment is the exchange of gene segments between two different viral strains inside a host cell to create a new strain.HHS said the partnership will build on research launched by the NIAID’s Murphy with John Maassab of the University of Michigan in the 1970s. They created a flu vaccine from a live but weakened flu virus. For added safety, they grew the vaccine in progressively cooler temperatures so it couldn’t spread beyond the relatively cool upper respiratory tract.This “cold-adapted” flu virus, owned by MedImmune, is the basis of FluMist, which also was developed jointly with NIAID, HHS said. “The researchers will use the same cold-adapted virus as the backbone for the pandemic influenza vaccines.”The government is already building a supply of an experimental vaccine for the H5N1 virus. The first clinical trial results were announced in August, and HHS announced on Sep 15 the award of a $100 million contract to Sanofi Pasteur to manufacture the vaccine. It is not yet known how many doses that contract will be worth, because the optimal dose has not been established.See also:Sept 28 HHS news releasehttp://archive.hhs.gov/news/press/2005pres/20050928.htmllast_img read more

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TS Karen Forms, Puerto Rico in the Cone

first_imgTropical Storm Karen has formed just north of Venezuela and is expected to take a northward path away from South America toward Puerto Rico.South Florida and the Bahamas are not in the cone of concern. DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK———————-At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Karen waslocated near latitude 12.5 North, longitude 61.7 West. Karen ismoving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph (20 km/h) and thisgeneral motion is expected to continue today. A turn toward thenorthwest is forecast to occur on Monday, followed by a turn towardthe north on Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Karenwill move away from the Windward Islands later today, and thenacross the eastern Caribbean Sea tonight and Monday. On Tuesday,Karen is expected to approach Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts.Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours.Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km),primarily in squalls to the east of the center.The estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 mb (29.71 inches). As of 11 a.m., the National Hurricane Center reported Tropical Storm Karen had sustained winds of 40 mph and was moving west-northwest at 13 mph about 30 miles north of Grenada and 65 miles south-southeast of St. Vincent. Tropical Storm Karen formed Sunday morning and is projected to threaten Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while a yet another tropical wave off the coast of Africa could become a tropical depression as well. WATCHES AND WARNINGS——————–CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the U.S. Virgin Islandsand Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra.The government of Antigua and Barbuda has issued a Tropical StormWatch for the British Virgin Islands.SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…* Trinidad and Tobago* Grenada and its dependencies* St. Vincent and the GrenadinesA Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…* U.S. Virgin Islands* Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra* British Virgin IslandsA Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions areexpected somewhere within the warning area.A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions arepossible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.Interests elsewhere in the Lesser Antilles should monitor theprogress of Karen.For storm information specific to your area, please monitorproducts issued by your national meteorological service. SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST…1500 UTC…INFORMATION———————————————–LOCATION…12.5N 61.7WABOUT 30 MI…45 KM N OF GRENADAABOUT 65 MI…105 KM SSW OF ST. VINCENTMAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…40 MPH…65 KM/HPRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 13 MPH…20 KM/HMINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1006 MB…29.71 INCHES BULLETINTropical Storm Karen Advisory Number 2NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL1220191100 AM AST Sun Sep 22 2019…KAREN BRINGING GUSTY WINDS AND HEAVY RAINFALL TO PORTIONS OFTHE SOUTHERN WINDWARD ISLANDS…last_img read more

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English club golfers will share The Open stage

first_img Tags: Carnoustie, Nine hole, R&A Twenty English club golfers will tee it up at Carnoustie shortly before the world’s greatest golfers compete at The 147th Open in July.They’ll be among the 42 men and women from across GB&I who will compete in pairs in the final of The R&A’s 9-hole championship. It takes place on Saturday 14 July and will played over the first four and last five holes of the Championship Course at Carnoustie.The finish, over the 16th, 17th and 18th, is considered by many to be the toughest in golf and has created play-offs at the last three stagings of The Open. It’s where Jean van de Velde came to grief in the Barry Burn before eventually conceding the 1999 title to Scotland’s Paul Lawrie; and where  Padraig Harrington twice visited the burn before triumphing in 2007.The 20 English players will secure their places in club qualifying events.  All clubs affiliated to England Golf are invited to run a 9 hole stableford qualifier before 22 June. They must be open to men, women, boys and girls who are club members with a CONGU handicap.The finalists’ costs for travel and accommodation on Friday 13 July will be met by The R&A and they will also be entertained at a dinner on the Friday evening and at a closing lunch and presentation on Saturday after play.The R&A and England Golf promote 9 hole golf as a way to play and enjoy the game in less time, both socially and competitively for handicap purposes. Competitors will also adopt Ready Golf in the final, which is designed to speed up play.Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development at The R&A said: “Nine hole golf is continuing to grow in popularity among golfers so we are encouraging clubs throughout Great Britain and Ireland to offer men, women and juniors more opportunities to enjoy this shorter format of the game, both socially and competitively.“Following the success of last year’s event, we are working with our affiliates in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to support more clubs holding qualifying events for their members with the incentive of playing one of world’s most renowned courses ahead of The Open.”The Open Championship will be played at Carnoustie from Thursday to Sunday, 19-22 July 2018.Carnoustie image courtesy The R&A 16 Jan 2018 English club golfers will share The Open stage last_img read more

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