May 27, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Sanofi Pasteur announced today that it has received a novel H1N1 influenza vaccine virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), moving the company a step closer to starting production of a vaccine.CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said this afternoon that the agency is also sending the vaccine virus to other manufacturers, located overseas, who should receive the samples within a few days.Jeff McLaughlin, a spokesman for vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), said today he couldn’t confirm GSK’s receipt of the vaccine strain, but added, “We understand that the CDC is in the process of shipping the strain to all the relevant manufacturers.”CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) officials had predicted that the CDC would release H1N1 vaccine viruses to manufacturers by the end of May. WHO officials have said that production of H1N1 vaccines is most likely to begin in July.The preparation of a vaccine strain involves combining a clinical sample of the target virus with another influenza virus that grows in eggs. This process creates a new virus that has some of the properties of the target virus and the ability to grow in eggs, the US Department of Health and Human Services noted today in a fact sheet on vaccine development activities. Most flu vaccines are still produced by growing them in eggs.Wayne Pisano, president of Sanofi Pasteur, said in a news release, “As a company committed to protecting human health, Sanofi Pasteur looks forward to quickly understanding how this virus performs in a vaccine manufacturing environment and developing a working seed that will enable large-scale production.”Sanofi will now begin “passaging” the virus, referring to “the process for acclimating virus to grow in a production environment at optimum yield,” the company said. The process will take about 2 weeks.”Following quality controls, Sanofi Pasteur will be prepared to begin industrial production as soon as directed by public health agencies,” the statement added.Health officials have estimated it would take manufacturers 4 to 6 months from when they receive the vaccine strain to start producing a vaccine in quantity. But a Sanofi spokeswoman said last week that the company may be able to start producing its first doses in 3 to 4 months.Sanofi and GSK both announced within the past few days that they had received US government orders for novel H1N1 vaccines.In related news, the WHO has recommended that vaccines for the novel H1N1 influenza virus be based on an isolate from California, saying most H1N1 viruses isolated so far are very similar to it.A majority of the novel H1N1 viruses isolated so far are antigenically and genetically related to the isolate known as A/California/7/2009 (H1N1), the WHO said in a statement posted online yesterday.The WHO said that its collaborating laboratories, certain regulatory agency laboratories, and other partners are developing reassortant viruses antigenically similar to the California strain for use in vaccines.Skinner, of the CDC, said the agency used the California strain in making the vaccine virus now being released to manufacturers.WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said several other WHO collaborating centers and regulatory laboratories are developing novel H1N1 vaccine viruses. He said they include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, a US Food and Drug Administration lab, and facilities in Japan, the United Kingdom, and Australia.See also: May 27 Sanofi press releaseMay 26 CIDRAP News story “Companies receive HHS orders for novel flu vaccine”WHO recommendation on strain for vaccine development
“As you know, part of our understanding with the new coach is that he will be on ground to work and follow up on our players in the domestic league. During negotiations with him, we agreed that since we have a crop of the NPFL players embarking on the LaLiga tour, it will be necessary for him to look in on them during the friendlies.“So, we are expecting him, after playing Valencia on Wednesday (yesterday) to join us on Friday, when we proceed to play Malaga in the Carranza Cup competition,” Green said.Throwing more light on the plan, Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) and 2nd Vice President of the NFF, Shehu Dikko, pointed out that it makes a lot of sense for the Super Eagles coach to join in on the LaLiga tour.“The head coach of the Super Eagles, Salisu Yusuf, whom he will work with is here. Other coaches who have been involved in the Super a Eagles are here. The back room staff of the Super Eagles whom he will work with are here. Then, the crop of the NPFL players who may form the core of our home-based team is here, so this tour presents the coach a hands-on platform to begin to interact and plan with his team, to hit the ground running.“It makes great sense for him to be here. Interestingly, he lives in Bordeaux, France which is just few hours from Spain,” Dikko said.“For the players, the presence of the new coach will serve as a motivation. It is remarkable that the Super Eagles coach is resuming work with them even before meeting with the foreign based professionals. That shows that they are important and that the coach is giving a level playing ground for all players who aspire to get into the Super Eagles.”Meanwhile, gate takings from last night’s friendly between Valencia and NPFL All Stars will be donated to the victims of a major forest fire that ravaged the little town of Alzira.The fires destroyed over 3000 hectares of the Valencia province which also includes Alzira.“We have been made to understand that the Alzira Stadium was chosen for our match against Valencia to assist the victims of the forest fire that affected the town of Alzira in June,” disclosed NPFL All-Star Team Manager, Ameobi Ezeaku.“The ticket sales from this match will be donated to the victims of the fire.”The Enugu Rangers team manager said the trip to Spain has been an eye-opening experience.“The experience has been wonderful for both the players and officials,” told AfricanFootball.comShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The newly engaged Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles, Gernod Rohr, is expected to begin work this week with a visit to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) All Star team currently on a playing tour of the Spanish LaLiga.Chairman of the Technical and Development Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Chris Green, informed npfl.ng that Rohr is expected to join the All-Star team in Spain on Friday, August 12 when they play Malaga FC in the opening of the Carranza World Club Tournament.