Personal Finance

Make more, save more, spend smarter, and keep more of what you earn

Business News

Stock market news & analysis

Home » Story

Like a Jewel of Gold in a Swine’s Snout (AZN, GSK, NVS, SNY, WMT, SVA, CVM, NVAX, RHHBY.PK)

Submitted by Jay Garcilazo on July 31, 2009 – 10:53 amNo Comment

In April 2009 the nation received scary news; a virus was sweeping through Mexico and South America, and had reached the Southwestern United States. That virus was Swine Flu or H1N1, an influenza virus affectionately known as the heinie virus. This is a variation of the same virus that was responsible for tens of millions of deaths in 1918, an influenza that the common flu shot will not protect against.
Words like outbreak and pandemic were being thrown around, and before we knew it schools were closing, movie theaters were empty, and even the Vice President was urging his family not to travel. Then as suddenly as it had burst into our consciousness the news was gone, the headlines replaced, it seemed as though the swine flu was behind us. Then on June 11, 2009 Dr. Margaret Chan Director-General of the World Health Organization made a startling statement. She announced that this strain of H1N1 had become a global pandemic with 30,000 confirmed cases in 74 countries. This strain of influenza has proven to be very scary because of how robust it is this fact is highlighted by the virus’ ability to survive and infect in the summer months. That this virus is spreading so easily during months of high humidity has many people frightened of what it may have in store for us once flu season properly arrives. It is not time for panic yet though the biotech industry is on the way, and Uncle Sam is sparing no expense funding vaccines and new treatments in the form of government contracts. Here is a look at how some of these companies are readying for battle against swine flu, they may save your life and make you some money in the process.

Not long after receiving a 90 million dollar government contract for the development of a swine flu vaccine, MedImmune now a division of U.K. based AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE: AZN), has received a new 61 million dollar contract. This new contract is for testing of their vaccine FluMist, the only nasal spray influenza vaccine, against H1N1. This product utilizes a weakened live strain of the virus, the process is known as Live-Attenuated Influenza Vaccine Technique. This technique may also boast the added advantage of building resistances to multiple strains of flu, not only the strain a patient is being immunized against. Another U.K. biotech company GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) is also coming in heavy to the fight against H1N1. Besides their government contract to develop a vaccine, the company is also ramping up production of their flu treatment Relenza. Relenza an inhaled flu treatment, is the only anti viral that has yet to be met by a resistant strain of swine flu. Unlike Roche Holding AG’s (OTC: RHHBY.PK) TamiFlu which some cases of swine flu have been resistant to.

Sanofi Pasteur SA, the vaccine division of French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis Group (NYSE: SNY) has two government contracts to produce swine flu vaccines. In addition to the company’s United States contract, the French government has also ordered 28 million doses of the vaccine. The company will be ready for mass production as soon as given the green light. This being the result of receiving a swine flu seed virus from the U.S. Centers for Disease control and Prevention back in May.

Pages: 1 2

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.