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Baxter posts results from flu vaccine trial

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 8:17am
The Associated Press

Baxter International Inc. reported late-stage clinical trial data for its flu vaccine candidate Preflucel, saying the drug provided a 71 percent protection rate against all strains of the flu.

Preflucel is designed to protect against swine flu, influenza B, and Hong Kong flu. Baxter and its partner DynPort Vaccine Co. said the shot gave a 78 percent protection rate against flu strains that matched the ones in the vaccine, and 71 percent from all strains.

The vaccine was tested on more than 7,200 people, and results were taken 21 days after inoculation. Baxter and DynPort said the most common side effects of Preflucel were reactions at the site of injection, muscle pain, fatigue, headache, and malaise.

Most flu vaccines are cultivated in chicken eggs, but Preflucel is not. Baxter said Preflucel is made with a technology called Vero cell, and made from a mammalian cell line. The company said its manufacturing process prevents interaction between the vaccine and the egg environment, and keeps it pure because it does not interact with antibiotics. It says it uses no preservatives or adjuvants, which are drugs intended to strengthen the vaccine's effects.

Baxter and DynPort plan to complete testing of Preflucel in the next few months. In afternoon trading, Baxter shares fell 38 cents to $57.78.

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