Apr 18, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Bavarian Nordic, a Danish company, announced this week that the US government plans to buy 20 million doses of the company’s Imvamune smallpox vaccine, but a US official said no decision has been made yet.Imvamune is Bavarian’s version of modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA), which is considered safer than the conventional smallpox vaccine, particularly for people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and children.”Following a competitive RFP process, Bavarian Nordic has received notification from the US Department of Health and Human Services that it intends to procure 20 million doses of the company’s third-generation IMVAMUNE smallpox vaccine for the strategic national stockpile,” the company said in an Apr 16 statement.But Holly Babin, an HHS spokeswoman in Washington, DC, said no decision has been made on the vaccine. “We can’t comment on it now,” she told CIDRAP News, but added that an announcement is expected within the next few weeks.Bavarian Nordic and the British drug company Acambis each received an HHS contract in early 2003 to develop and test a vaccine based on MVA. In September 2004 HHS awarded each company a further contract calling for production of 500,000 doses of the vaccine and clinical trials. But Acambis announced in November 2006 that HHS had notified it that the company’s vaccine was too expensive.Bavarian said the expected HHS contract would require the company to win US Food and Drug Administration approval for use of the vaccine in healthy people and those with limited immunity.Peter Wulff, Bavarian’s chief executive officer, said the company plans to begin phase 3 clinical trials early in 2008 and expects to win a US license for the vaccine in 2010, according to an Apr 16 Bloomberg News story.”While the principal terms of the agreement [with HHS] have been reached, the contract is currently being finalized,” the company statement said. “It is expected to be the first procurement contract under the BioShield program since enactment of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act in December 2006.”Bavarian said it has built a facility that can produce at least 40 million doses of Imvamune annually.The BioShield program was established in 2004 to promote the development of medical treatments for the effects of chemical, biological, and other unconventional weapons. But major drug companies showed little interest in the program. In passing the All-Hazards Preparedness Act in December, Congress tried to revitalize the program by authorizing partial payments to companies working under BioShield contracts before final delivery of their products.Existing smallpox vaccines are made with live vaccinia virus—a cousin of the smallpox virus—which in rare cases can cause serious or life-threatening side effects such as a severe rash or encephalitis. MVA is a strain of vaccinia that cannot replicate inside human cells and therefore cannot cause a severe or spreading infection, HHS has said.An MVA-based vaccine was found to be safe when it was given to 120,000 Germans in the 1970s, according to HHS. But research on MVA ended when smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980.Although smallpox was eradicated, disease experts fear that terrorists may have supplies of the virus, which the Soviet Union made in large quantities during the Cold War. Since 2001, HHS has stockpiled enough doses of the conventional smallpox vaccine to immunize the entire US population. The United States and Russia still hold samples of the smallpox virus for research purposes.See also:Oct 4, 2004, CIDRAP News story “Further contracts awarded for weakened smallpox vaccine”Feb 25, 2003, CIDRAP News story “HHS awards contracts to develop safer smallpox vaccine”Dec 15, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Congress passes public health preparedness bill”
*Super Nationals is legendary for bringing drivers from across the country and Canada to Boone. The diversity of addresses was best seen Wednesday in the 28th Modified heat where the eight starters represented seven states and our neighbors to the north.That heat included Terry Johnson of Iowa, Mike Petersilie of Kansas, Andrew Timm of Minnesota, Jason Wolla of North Dakota, Kody Scholpp of Saskatchewan, Steve Reynolds of South Dakota, Kyle Kudick of Wisconsin and Richard Mueller of Wyoming.Seven different states are represented in two of the 30 Thursday night heats, the ninth and 18th.*A dozen Modifieds will start tonight’s inaugural Karl Crate Clash. The winner goes home with a 604 crate engine, valued at $5,500, courtesy of Chevrolet Performance and Karl Performance. Names of the drivers starting the race were drawn from 121 entries this afternoon, with starting spots determined later in front of an SRO crowd at the Fan Zone.Brian Schmitt and Chevy Hadan drew front row starts. Ricky Stephan and Mike Petersilie are in the second row, Jake Durbin and Scott Hogan in the third row, Greg Cox and Kelly Lyons in the fourth row, Dan Rhiley and Jim Lynch in the fifth row and Shawn Kilgore and Gary Roberts in the sixth row.The last-place driver will be blackflagged on each of the first 10 circuits. The race will then be restarted with the leader getting his choice of starting position for a two lap dash.Dividing the value of the engine by the number of laps, the Karl Crate Clash is worth $458 and change evert time around the track to the winner.*Two former winners are in the field for the 2013 Harris Auto Racing Race of Champions. Jimmy Gustin (2007 and 2012) and Clint Hatlestad (2010) won Thursday qualifying heats, as did Dylan Smith, Jesse Sobbing, Dustin Smith and Corey Lagroon.Runners-up Tim Ward, Ryan McDaniel, Richie Gustin, Brandon Beckendorf, Chris Abelson and Aaron Turnbull also advance to Saturday’s $1,000 to win feature.Jimmy Gustin made the RoC for the fifth time, Lagroon for the third, Dylan Smith, Richie Gustin and Hatlestad each for the second. Ward, Sobbing, Beckendorf, Dustin Smith, Abelson, McDaniel and Turnbull each for the first.Turnbull also owns the distinction of being the first Canadian driver to qualify for the Harris Race of Champions, a Super Nationals staple since 1989. Twelve cars ran in each of six heats.*
Maria Lopez (10) — 200 IM (2:41.35)Gwen Martin (12) — 100 Free (1:05.97) @BatesvilleSwimBe sure to keep up with all the latest news on Batesville Swimming teams on social media — Facebook and InstagramCourtesy of Bulldogs Coach Greg McMullen. The Bulldogs (2-0) opened their season today with a victory over both the Spartans and Royals. TEAM SCORESBatesville Bulldogs 50, Connersville 47Batesville Bulldogs 54, Eastern Hancock 40 The Batesville High School Men’s and Women’s Swimming travelled to Connersville High School on Tuesday evening. The Lady Bulldogs (2-2) came away with a victory over Eastern Hancock while falling to the host school, Connersville. Connersville 57, Batesville Bulldogs 40Batesville Bulldogs 52, Eastern Hancock 34 BULLDOG WINNERSEthan Brewer (11) — 100 Butterfly (58.79)William Johnson (9) — 100 Backstroke (1:05.78)Ciaran Tyrer (9) — 100 Breaststroke (1:14.71) UP NEXTThe Batesville Bulldogs swim team will be visiting Centerville for a multi-team meet against opponents Centerville and Seton Catholic on Dec. 5 at Centerville High School in Centerville. NOTABLESThe Men’s team won 2 of 3 relay eventsSonja Gaulin led the women’s team in individual points earned with 13Freshman Will Johnson and Ciaran Tyrer tied with 12 individual points earned for the men’s team.