The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Tag Archives: vaccine

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: CSL Gets Mixed Messages from Uncle Sam

Godward-He_Loves_Me%2C_He_Loves_Me_Not-1896Last week, CSL heard from the Federal Trade Commission that the agency is opposed to CSL’s proposed $3.1 billion merger with Talecris Biotherapeutics.

Don’t worry, CSL, Health and Human Services still loves you.  To the tune of a $180 million order for CSL’s H1N1 swine flu vaccine bulk antigen.  HHS will also fund the clinical trials.

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Human Swine Flu Ontario Update May 14: Tracking the Ontario Numbers Plus Vaccine Updates

Ontario reported 36 new cases of Swine Flu today.  All cases are still considered mild, although one patient was hospitalized for unrelated reasons. 

I thought this would be a good time to look back at the Ontario press releases and plot the number of new cases reported since Ontario started releasing numbers on April 28th.  When I did that, the plot was very erratic, so I took a 3-day rolling average.  Here it is:

Ontario Swine Flu cases

We’ll see where this goes over the next few days.

Meanwhile:

H1N1 Human Swine Flu Wednesday Update: Ontario, Genetics and Sanofi News

antigenicshift_hirescrop1Ontario confirms 13 new cases as of Wednesday afternoon, bringing the total to 49 in the province, all considered mild.  A lot of the public health messaging over the last 48 hours has been advising people not to relax too much.

Today also saw an interesting Canadian development on the scientific front.  Although commentary around the different numbers of flu deaths in Mexico versus other areas has included the possibility that there are genetic variations in the virus, genetic differences do not appear to be  responsible. Researchers at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg sequenced Mexican and Canadian isolates and found no significant differences. According to Dr. Frank Plummer, the chief science adviser of the national lab:

“Essentially, what it appears to suggest, is that there is nothing at the genetic level that differentiates this virus that we got from Mexico and those from Nova Scotia and Ontario, that explains apparent differences in disease severity between Mexico and Canada and the United States.”

Also, speaking of not relaxing too much, the FDA just announced that they have approved a new Sanofi Pasteur vaccine manufacturing facility in Swiftwater, PA.

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Friday Science Review: March 13, 2009

Training Brains:  Sheena Josselyn’s lab at SickKids specifically erased a fear memory in mice by selectively ablating CREB neurons using an inducible diptheria toxin.  Let me break this down, because it’s so unbelievably cool: 

  • they trained mice to be afraid of a sound,
  • then they destroyed some specific cells in the brains of the mice,
  • then the mice forgot that they were afraid of the sound.

The mice were subsequently able to learn new things, like how to find cheese in a maze, and were even able to learn to be afraid of the same sound again.  Between this and the mind-reading experiment in the UK this week, it’s enough to give you a serious bout of insomnia … which often lasts over a year, according to researchers at Laval.

Gout Rout: Dr. Hyon Choi and colleagues at the University of British Columbia reported in Monday’s issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, that Vitamin C appeared to lower the levels of uric acid in the blood, and that men who take in more vitamin C appear to be less likely to develop gout, a painful type of arthritis.

Beef Relief: Researchers using Bioniche’s E. coli O157 vaccine, Econiche™, published a study in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease showing that vaccinated cattle were 92% less likely to be colonized with E. coli O157:H7 than non-vaccinated cattle (odds ratio (OR)=0.07, p=0.0008). This is the second published study demonstrating more than 90% effectiveness of the Bioniche vaccine against colonization.

Anti-cancer Advancers:

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