Science/Tech
7:47 am
Fri June 12, 2009

Novartis says produces first batch of experimental vaccine

BASEL, Switzerland – BASEL, Switzerland (AP) - Swiss pharmaceuticals company Novartis AG says it's produced a first batch of experimental swine flu vaccine.

The vaccine hasn't been tested and cannot be used in humans yet. It was made in cells, rather than grown in eggs as is usually the case with vaccines.

But because vaccines grown in cells account for less than 5 percent of the world's flu vaccine capacity, Novartis' announcement is unlikely to provide a major boost to the world's pandemic vaccine supply.

The announcement comes a day after WHO declared swine flu a pandemic. The move indicates that a global outbreak is under way.

The WHO says drugmakers will likely have vaccines approved and ready for sale after September.