Healthcare Industry News: Relenza
News Release - July 20, 2006
GSK Announces U.S. Government Purchase of Relenza(R) for State StockpilesPHILADELPHIA, July 20 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK ) today announced an agreement with the U.S. Government to provide states with the anti-viral Relenza® (zanamivir for inhalation) as they prepare for a potential influenza pandemic.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is guaranteeing the initial purchase of $16.8 million of Relenza. This purchase will help states, territories, and the District of Columbia to begin adding Relenza to their pandemic stockpiles at a federally subsidized price. Over the two-year contract, these jurisdictions can make additional purchases of Relenza up to a potential total of 15.5 million treatment courses.
"This agreement signals another critical step in preparing America for the threat of a possible flu pandemic," said David Stout, President Pharmaceutical Operations, GlaxoSmithKline. "Government stockpiles will help people to get anti-virals like Relenza quickly if a pandemic occurs."
To date, HHS has announced the purchase of nearly 4 million treatment courses of Relenza for the Strategic National Stockpile.
Relenza is approved for both the prophylaxis and treatment of Influenza A and B in children and adults. Relenza is not recommended for people who have chronic lung disease such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Some patients have had bronchospasm (wheezing) or serious breathing problems when they used Relenza. Relenza is an inhaled medicine delivered through a device called a Diskhaler® to the surface of the upper respiratory tract. For more information on Relenza, visit http://www.Relenza.com.
As a leading provider of vaccines and anti-viral medications, GSK is committed to doing everything it can to support governments and health authorities around the world in planning to respond to a global influenza pandemic.
GlaxoSmithKline has an active research and development program targeted at both seasonal and pandemic influenza, and has committed over $2 billion to expand capacity for manufacturing flu vaccine and its anti-viral influenza treatment Relenza.
In North America, GSK has acquired a major influenza vaccine manufacturer, ID Biomedical Corporation, which provides GSK with a significant increase in flu vaccine manufacturing capacity. GSK has been awarded a $274 million contract from HHS to speed the development of new cell culture-based seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines and to scale-up cell culture manufacturing capability at its Marietta, PA facility.
GSK markets over 25 vaccines worldwide to prevent potentially life-threatening or crippling illnesses such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, typhoid, influenza and bacterial meningitis.
GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and health care companies. GlaxoSmithKline is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For company information visit: http://www.gsk.com.
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