(visit the link for the full news article)
Deerfield, Illinois-based pharmaceutical company Baxter International Inc. has just been caught shipping live avian flu viruses mixed with vaccine material to medical distributors in 18 countries. The "mistake" (if you can call it that, see below...) was discovered by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Canada. The World Health Organization was alerted and panic spread throughout the vaccine community as health experts asked the obvious question: How could this have happened?
Originally posted by ElectricUniverse
This is just unbelievable. It doesn't seem to have been a mistake, but to actually have been intentional.
Originally posted by lucipher
DO These people not have family's of there own to think about if this stuff just happens to get out.
Baxter: Product contained live bird flu virus
By Helen Branswell, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Last Updated: 27th February 2009, 3:26pm
The company that released contaminated flu virus material from a plant in Austria confirmed Friday that the experimental product contained live H5N1 avian flu viruses.
And an official of the World Health Organization’s European operation said the body is closely monitoring the investigation into the events that took place at Baxter International’s research facility in Orth-Donau, Austria.
“At this juncture we are confident in saying that public health and occupational risk is minimal at present,” medical officer Roberta Andraghetti said from Copenhagen, Denmark.
“But what remains unanswered are the circumstances surrounding the incident in the Baxter facility in Orth-Donau.”
The contaminated product, a mix of H3N2 seasonal flu viruses and unlabelled H5N1 viruses, was supplied to an Austrian research company. The Austrian firm, Avir Green Hills Biotechnology, then sent portions of it to sub-contractors in the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany.
The contamination incident, which is being investigated by the four European countries, came to light when the subcontractor in the Czech Republic inoculated ferrets with the product and they died. Ferrets shouldn’t die from exposure to human H3N2 flu viruses.
Public health authorities concerned about what has been described as a “serious error” on Baxter’s part have assumed the death of the ferrets meant the H5N1 virus in the product was live. But the company, Baxter International Inc., has been parsimonious about the amount of information it has released about the event.
On Friday, the company’s director of global bioscience communications confirmed what scientists have suspected.
“It was live,” Christopher Bona said in an email.
Kein Vogelgrippefall in Wien =
Wien (OTS) - Am vergangenen Montag wurden im Wiener
Otto-Wagner-Spital 18 MitarbeiterInnen eines externen Unternehmens
ambulant behandelt, da vorerst nicht ausgeschlossen werden konnte,
dass sie im Rahmen ihrer Arbeit mit einem Vogelgrippe-Erreger in
Kontakt gekommen seien. Bei keinem der umfassenden Tests wurde eine
Darüber hinaus wurden die PatientInnen umgehend mit einer
Grippe-Vorsorge behandelt. "Weder für die Patientinnen und Patienten
noch für Personen, die mit ihnen in Kontakt waren, bestand eine
Gefährdung. Selbstverständlich haben wir aber alle zuständigen
Behörden informiert", erklärte Dr.in Susanne Drapalik von der
Generaldirektion der Spitäler der Stadt Wien. (Schluss) cl
Telefon: 01 404 09-70054
Austria, Germany, Slowenia and the Czech Republic - these are the countries in which labs were hit with dangerous viruses. Not by bioterrorist commandos, but by Baxter.
By Crystal Phend, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Published: December 03, 2008
Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
ATLANTA, Dec. 3 -- Contaminated heparin has been confirmed in a case-control study by the CDC as the cause of hundreds of allergic reactions, some fatal, over the past year, researchers said.
In the first published account of the much-publicized investigation of the then-mysterious tainted heparin, which was finally traced to oversulfated chondroitin sulfate in raw material from China, CDC researchers said all 21 dialysis facilities that reported allergic-type reactions used heparin manufactured by Baxter Healthcare.
These allergic reactions uncharacteristic of heparin-- hypotension, nausea, and shortness of breath occurring within 30 minutes of administration -- first surfaced late last year.
By April, the culprit compound had been traced to contamination of crude heparin at manufacturing plants in China leading to mass recalls in the U.S. and five other countries. (See: Heparin Recall Tally Spreads to Six Countries and How Tainted Heparin Slipped Through U.S. Safety Net)
However, final proof of a cause-and-effect relationship was missing, commented Susanne Alban, Ph.D., and Susanne Lühn, Pharm.D., both of Christian-Albrechts University Kiel in Kiel, Germany, in an accompanying correspondence piece in which they reported a new method for contamination testing.
European agency endorses Baxter's bird flu vaccine
Thu. December 18, 2008; Posted: 06:45 PM
Dec 18, 2008 (Chicago Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- BAX | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating -- Baxter International Inc.'s vaccine to combat the bird flu today won an endorsement from European health officials.
It's a dose of good news for the Deerfield-based medical product giant and countries around the world that have been stockpiling the product without a government-approved clearance about the vaccine's safety or effectiveness.
UPDATE 1-EU backs Sanofi "micro" flu shot, Baxter pandemic
Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:50pm EST
(adds further details, Sanofi comment)
LONDON, Dec 18 (Reuters) - European regulators on Thursday endorsed the first of a new kind of "micro" vaccine against seasonal flu from Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA) and a pandemic flu shot from Baxter International (BAX.N).
Both products were recommended for approval by experts at the European Medicines Agency in London, whose decisions are normally endorsed by the European Commission within a couple of months.
Baxter signs British flu vaccine deal
Baxter International said it has entered into an agreement to supply Britain with flu vaccine in the event of a bird flu pandemic.
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The Deerfield, Ill., company is in the final stages of testing for a vaccine against H5N1 strains of avian influenza.
Baxter said it will manufacture its pandemic vaccine in a serum-free, vero cell-based system that accelerates vaccine availability. The company said vaccines produced using this process can be released within approximately 12 weeks, significantly earlier than with traditional egg-based systems.
The vero cell culture gives the company the flexibility to quickly respond to emerging variant pandemic virus strains, Baxter said in a news release.
The Chicago Tribune said the advanced supply agreement could be worth tens of millions of dollars to the company over the next four years.
British health officials said they signed more than $300 million in contracts with Baxter and GlaxoSmithKline to supply a vaccine as soon as the strain is identified by the World Health Organization.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International
Baxter Supplies Austria With Bird Flu Vaccine
Posted on: Wednesday, 22 November 2006, 09:00 CST
The Austrian Ministry of Health has entered into a preparedness contract with Baxter Healthcare that contains an option to purchase 16 million doses of pandemic influenza vaccine, enough to vaccinate the entire Austrian population.
The three-year agreement provides the Austrian Ministry of Health with future access to the company's cell-based vaccine production capacity in the event of an avian flu pandemic.
Baxter is also under contract to supply two million doses of H5N1 vaccine to the UK government. In addition, the company is working with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop a cell culture-based H5N1 candidate pandemic influenza vaccine.
[edit on 8-3-2009 by ElectricUniverse]
Bloomberg.com: ScienceFeb 24, 2009 ... 24 (Bloomberg) -- Baxter International Inc. in Austria unintentionally contaminated samples with the bird flu virus that were used in ...