Glaxo Boosts Production of Antiviral Medication
Fri, 05/01/2009 - 12:19pm
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (AP) — GlaxoSmithKline, the world's second-largest drugmaker, said Friday it has boosted production of antiviral medication as the U.S. government reported two dozen additional cases of swine flu. The London-based company said it is ramping up operations to be able to produce about 5 million packs of Relenza per month, but it will take 12 to 14 weeks to get to that level. Relenza is one of two antiviral drugs that make up the U.S. government's stockpile of 44 million courses of antiviral medication. The other drug is Tamiflu, made by Swiss drugmaker Roche. Glaxo said in a statement it is in discussions with other drugmakers about further increasing its capacity. The company said it has also been in touch with the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and other health bodies about possible development of a vaccine for swine flu. "GSK stands ready to begin manufacture of a potential vaccine against the new influenza A strain virus once the WHO and other public health authorities make recommendations for composition of the vaccine," the company said.