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US seeks stockpile of safer smallpox vaccine

first_img Acambis and Bavarian Nordic said the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has requested proposals to supply the attenuated vaccine called modified vaccinia Ankara, or MVA. Both companies have developed versions of MVA. See also: Peter Wulff, president and CEO of Copenhagen-based Bavarian Nordic, said in a news release, “With this tender, the US government has committed itself to protect the 25% of the population who cannot safely be given current smallpox vaccines. The world market for a safe smallpox vaccine has now been opened, since governmental authorities in the larger European countries will naturally undertake a similar commitment as the American authorities.” Aug 16, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The US government has called for proposals to supply up to 80 million doses of a weakened smallpox vaccine to protect people for whom the conventional vaccine is too risky, according to two vaccine manufacturers. The vaccine is intended for use in people who face an increased risk of serious reactions to the conventional vaccine, such as children, pregnant women, and people with immune system disorders or eczema. The federal government has stockpiled hundreds of millions of doses of the conventional vaccine over the past few years. The MVA contracts will be funded under Project Bioshield, a program enacted last year to support the development of medical defenses against biological, chemical, and radiological weapons, according to Marc Wolfson, spokesman for the HHS Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness in Washington DC. Aug 16 Bavarian Nordic news releasehttp://www.bavarian-nordic.com/investor/announcements/2005-29.aspx http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/smallpox/news/safevax.html Federal officials have set a Sep 29 deadline for receiving company proposals and plan to award one or more contracts in February 2006, according to Acambis and Bavarian Nordic. CIDRAP News stories on previous MVA contracts awarded to Acambis and Bavarian Nordichttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/smallpox/news/oct042004smallpox.html Acambis said it launched a phase 2 clinical trial of MVA3000 in 700 healthy adults last month. A phase 1 study yielded good results for safety and immunogenicity, with 97% of subjects who were vaccinated at the highest dose showing antibodies specific to the vaccinia virus, the company said. Existing smallpox vaccines are made with live vaccinia virus, which in rare cases can cause serious or life-threatening side effects such as a severe rash or encephalitis. MVA is a strain of vaccinia that cannot replicate inside human cells and cause a spreading infection, according to HHS. Wolfson said he couldn’t give an estimate of the cost of the MVA vaccine stockpile. But a Reuters report said investment analysts estimated that the full 80 million doses could be worth more than $1.2 billion. The earlier contracts required the companies to test the vaccines in animals, begin clinical trials, and develop plans for mass production. Acambis is collaborating with Baxter Healthcare to manufacture MVA3000. Editor’s note: This story was revised Aug 17 to add information on funding and a link to the government’s request for proposals to supply the vaccine. HHS wants to obtain 20 million doses of MVA within 2 years after awarding a contract and to have an option to buy another 60 million doses in the future, according to a news release from Acambis, based in the United Kingdom. The HHS is also calling for vaccine suppliers to conduct clinical trials and obtain a federal license for their vaccine. Both companies have been developing their versions of MVA under contracts awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in February 2003 and September 2004. Acambis’s vaccine is called MVA3000, and Bavarian Nordic’s is Imvamune.last_img read more

Alex Wood calls velocity drop a midseason ‘hurdle’ after 7-4 win over Braves

first_imgATLANTA >> There is nothing to worry about in the standings, so the Dodgers will have to create their own concerns over the next two months.The slightly diminished velocity and admitted fatigue Alex Wood felt Thursday night will have to do for now. Wood did just fine with what he had, holding the Atlanta Braves to one run over six innings as the Dodgers won, 7-4. But Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged there will be a conversation with Wood about what he is feeling.“I wouldn’t say concern. But I would say it’s something that Honey (pitching coach Rick Honeycutt) and myself will discuss with Alex just to make sure he feels strong and feels good,” Roberts said. “I don’t think it’s a health thing. But just as we do with all of our pitchers, we’ll try to stay ahead of things. “I’m really proud of this one tonight,” Wood said. “I battled and made some pitches when I needed to. That pickoff helped a lot too.”That pickoff was a “game-changer,” Wood said.With the Dodgers leading 3-1 in the fifth inning, the left-hander loaded the bases on two walks and a single – then unloaded them by picking the runner off second and getting Brandon Phillips to bounce into a double play.“That was the play of the game right there,” Roberts said. “There was a lot of stress, bases loaded with no outs.”Chris Taylor and Corey Seager did what they could to minimize the stress. They had three hits each, including a two-run home run by Taylor, his 13th of the season. The multi-hit game was Taylor’s 10th in 18 games since the All-Star break. He is batting .405 (30 for 74) during that stretch with 14 extra-base hits, 14 runs scored and 13 driven in, another spike in a breathtaking breakout season.“There’s a confidence there. He’s had success and he’s sustained it,” Roberts said. “He went through a tough stretch there about a month ago, rebounded to get some hits and be productive. So right now there’s obviously a lot of confidence and he just finds a way to compete every at-bat.”Sean Newcomb was the other driving force behind the Dodgers’ offense. The Angels’ first-round draft pick in 2014 is struggling through his rookie season with the Braves. He walked seven – including Logan Forsythe with the bases loaded in the third inning – threw two wild pitches and needed 110 to get through 4 2/3 innings. “What he’s done the last couple years as far as workload, we definitely need to be mindful of this.”Wood pitched just 60 1/3 innings last season when an elbow injury required midseason surgery and cost him his spot in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. What he’s feeling now is fairly typical midseason fatigue compounded by the challenges of coast-to-coast travel with its disruption of sleep patterns, he said.“I feel like every starter has that point in the season where you have that little hurdle you have to get over. That’s where I feel like I’m at,” said Wood, who topped 170 innings in each of the two seasons before last year’s surgery. “I still feel like the quality of my stuff was there. It just wasn’t as consistent.“Most guys will tell you there’s usually a point in the season – whether it’s midway or three-fourths of the way, whatever it may be – where you start to feel a little fatigue. You just have to make the adjustments to get over that hurdle.”Roughed up for 15 runs in two previous starts against his former team, Wood avoided damage this time despite allowing hits in every inning. The Braves went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position and their only run off Wood came in the first inning when Tyler Flowers’ two-out drive to left-center field scooted past center fielder Kike’ Hernandez all the way to the wall for an RBI double.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more