Chiron Exploring the Growth Potential in Flu Vaccines
Los Angeles Times; C6
After its purchase of PowderJect Pharmaceuticals of England, the biotechnology firm Chiron became the second-largest maker of influenza vaccine in the United States. The Emeryville, Calif., company sold all of its flu vaccine stock during the 2003-2004 influenza season, boosting its revenue by $245 million--but Chiron is looking toward a much larger global market, believing that the world's flu vaccine needs could reach $2.6 billion over the coming 10 years, due in part to a U.S. target of 150 million annual flu vaccinations. Chiron is now putting $100 million into its vaccine research and development program to create a quicker method of producing flu vaccine than the current standard of growing the vaccine inside chicken eggs, which takes a significant amount of time and cannot be sped up.