Skip to main content

Baxter announces potentially safe and effective avian flu vaccine


DEERFIELD, Ill. A new vaccine against the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu from Baxter International appears to be both safe and effective in Phase I and II testing, according to a study published in the June 12 in the New England Journal of Medicine, Baxter announced Wednesday.

The vaccine, Celvapan, was given as a two-injection regimen to 284 adult volunteers in Singapore and Australia in a clinical trial. Results showed that it could protect around 76 percent of subjects against both the H5N1 Vietnam and Hong Kong strains, as well as protecting 45 percent against the Indonesian strain.

Flu vaccines are grown in fertilized chicken eggs, which can take 22 weeks. The new vaccine, however, is grown in green monkey kidney cells, and takes only 12 weeks to make.

Also, unlike other flu vaccines, which use virus proteins, Celvapan uses the entire virus, which has been killed with ultraviolet light and chemicals. Polio vaccines are also made with the whole virus.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds