HEALTH

Sanofi Pasteur seeks to expand seasonal flu protection from three influenza strains to four

BY Michael Johnsen

 SWIFTWATER, Pa. — Sanofi Pasteur on Thursday announced it has filed for approval of a four-strain flu shot to the Food and Drug Administration. An action date is anticipated in the second quarter of 2013. 

"The addition of a fourth influenza virus strain to the seasonal influenza vaccine formulation has the potential to make a substantial impact in reducing influenza disease and influenza-related complications, hospitalizations and deaths among those who contract the disease," stated David Greenberg, senior director, U.S. scientific and medical affairs, Sanofi Pasteur. "Two influenza B-lineage strains typically co-circulate in the U.S each year, so it makes sense to include both in the vaccine rather than attempting to predict which of the two will be the dominant strain. In fact, in six of the past 12 influenza seasons, the B strain selected by health authorities for inclusion in the vaccine was not the predominant B-lineage strain that circulated during the next influenza season."

The strains for each season’s influenza vaccine are selected by the FDA, in consultation with global health authorities, from the strains anticipated to circulate in the approaching influenza season. Seasonal influenza vaccines contained only two strains (one strain of type A influenza and one strain of type B influenza) until 1978, when the decision was made to incorporate a second type A influenza strain in order to provide protection against the two different A strains that were co-circulating. From then until now, influenza vaccines have been trivalent to help protect against three strains of influenza virus (two of type A and one of type B). 

However, since the influenza B Victoria lineage re-emerged worldwide in 2001-2002, two influenza B strains (one each from the Victoria and Yamagata lineages) have co-circulated with varying prevalence, making it difficult to predict the next season’s dominant B strain. Even in years when the correct B virus strain was selected for the vaccine, some influenza disease was caused by the B strain omitted from the vaccine. These factors raised the hypothesis that the addition of a second B-lineage strain to expand the licensed trivalent influenza vaccine to a quadrivalent vaccine could help reduce flu incidence.  

 

 

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Ansell Healthcare takes LifeStyles thin condoms thinner with Zero launch

BY Michael Johnsen

ISELIN, N.J. — Ansell Healthcare on Wednesday announced the launch of Zero and Zero Larger. Zero is the thinnest latex condom now offered in America, 45% thinner than Ansell’s standard latex design, and Zero Larger is now the thinnest large condom in the market in the United States, the company stated. 

According to consumer focus groups, condom users are consistently searching for more sensitive and better-fitting designs, and are willing to try different brands and styles to discover the condoms that best suit their needs. 

"At Ansell, we are constantly striving to bring sexually active consumers the most advanced products on the market, developed by conducting rigorous consumer research," stated Carol Carrozza, VP sales and marketing North America for Ansell Healthcare.  "Responding to consumer requests, we are thrilled to introduce our thinnest condoms yet, Zero and Zero Larger, offering users what they desire most: greater sensitivity, extended pleasure and quite frankly, better sex."

The release of Zero also features an innovation in packaging design for the condom category. The unique packaging features a contemporary, matchbox-like design that slides open for easy access. The product name, metallic Zero logo, solid white background and packaging fonts all demonstrate a modern, sleek and sexy update to typical condom packaging — a new, innovative look for the new, advanced Zero series.

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Successful Australian VMS marketer to launch in the U.S. market January 2013

BY Michael Johnsen

VICTORIA, Australia — Sales of Swisse Ultivite multivitamins in the Australian and Asian markets have been a big driver behind overall sales, according to a Nielsen report cited by the company. 

Across both Australia and Asia, VMS sales were up 16% to $197 million for the year ended June 2012. Leading the charge was Suisse Ultivite, which grew by more than 40% "thanks to a high ad spend and launches that boost the profile of the whole range,” Nielsen said. 

“Swisse is about educating all people on their health, and they understand the role of multivitamins, particularly in their busy lives where diets are not supplying all they need,” stated Radek Sali, Swisse CEO. “The Swisse marketing position is evolving as the market matures, and we establish ourselves on the global VMS platform.”

Swisse was also identified as being a prospective driver of growth in the herbal and natural supplements category where fish oils were relatively flat but krill oil developed as a new interest area because of its greater potency. “Swisse has over 20 brand ambassadors and was Australian broadcast sponsor of the London 2012 Olympics and is associated with several other sporting events," Sali said. "In May 2012, Swisse enlisted actress and singer Delta Goodrem to advertise the brand on TV, and in June 2012, the marketer signed a sponsorship deal to be the official vitamin of the Qantas Wallabies Rugby Union team."

Meanwhile, the company has hired actress Nicole Kidman as global brand ambassador ahead of the rollout of Swisse in the United States in January 2013.

Swisse has also launched a body and skin care portfolio and the Swisse Active range of premium whey powder and energy bars, the company noted. 

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