Eva von Schaper
Bloomberg
October 7, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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Novartis AG agreed to use technology from Synthetic Genomics Vaccines Inc., a company run by genome pioneer Craig Venter, in an effort to cut the time needed to develop influenza shots.

Novartis and San Diego-based Synthetic Genomic Vaccines will work together to create so-called seed viruses, templates from which large amounts of vaccine are created, Novartis said in a statement today. Novartis hopes to reduce the time needed to start vaccine output by two months, which is critical in the case of a flu pandemic, the company said.

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“There is always the risk a of pandemic,” Rino Rappuoli, who heads vaccine research at Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis, said in a telephone interview today. The company produced enough vaccine only after the peak of the flu pandemic was over last year, Rappuoli said.

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