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New sex virus jab for kids aged 10





Children as young as 10 could soon be given a new vaccine against a sexually transmitted virus which causes cervical cancer, prompting concern among family groups about the moral message it will send.


Health experts believe vaccinating primary school students against the human papilloma virus (HPV) could prevent three-quarters of cervical cancers and eventually reduce the need for Pap smears.


But WA's Right to Life Association president Peter O'Meara said some parents would be horrified at the thought of pre-adolescent children being given a drug to protect them from a sexually transmitted infection. "Giving the vaccine to children would be presupposing something about their future risk that mightn't be the case and parents would want to know a lot more before they agreed to it," he said.


One vaccine, Gardasil, is in the final stages of its approval application to the United States Food and Drug Administration and is expected to be on the market within a year and shortly after in Australia. Another vaccine, Cervarix, is being trialled by rival drug company GlaxoSmithKline, which also hopes to have it approved within the next few years.


Dr Rick Haupt, who heads the Merck Sharp & Dohme vaccine division which makes Gardasil, agreed yesterday that concerns had been raised in the US about targeting young children.


"There are some groups in the US who have raised concerns about children of any age receiving a vaccine to protect them from a sexually transmitted infection," he said. "But against that conservative view is the public health opinion that this vaccine is very valuable."


He said new research showed Gardasil was more effective against HPV when given to children between the ages of nine and 15 than in older teenagers aged 16 to 20. This was because the immune response in the younger children was significantly higher than in older teens.


Dr Haupt said that like the approach to rubella, it would be necessary to vaccinate boys too, because men could carry HPV and pass it to women through sex.


"We need to vaccinate across the entire population because even though most HPV disease is in women, men transmit the virus so by vaccinating them too we can (have an) impact on women," he said.


Professor Suzanne Garland, from Melbourne's Royal Women's Hospital, said preliminary results from a trial of nine to 15-year-olds were promising, particularly because younger children were likely to be targets of a vaccine.


"The results are exciting, particularly since the HPV vaccine is an Australian invention," she said.


"What we need to do now is get information out to the public about the virus and the fact that there is likely to be a vaccine released next year," she said. "The idea would be to give it to kids before they become sexually active and we'd be looking at the 10 to 12-year-olds."





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http://www.sharescene.com/html/emoticons/lmaosmiley.gif Merk & Co announces full year FY 05 results to the NYSE - top of the adgenda for FY06 is going to be the HPV approval and rollout.


This is critical to CSL and it has ongoing royalities on the vaccine, whilst CSL has the rights to this vaccine and the one being made by GSK - the Merc vaccine differs due to the additional protection it offers againt Thursh.


So, not only does it protect against HPV - Cervial Cancer - the level of royalities is greater than that with GSK.


CSL - wins both ways.


Merck is 6 - 8 Months closer to market.


- analysists are estimating that time will have a 3 bil plus impact on CSL revenues out to 2008 http://www.sharescene.com/html/emoticons/wink.gif Not forgetting that global plasma prices are now up over 20% and the aud is falling aginast the US - last time this occured CSL went to $52.00


I am making CSL my LOck of the week.


Watch directors buying up to Thurs announcement by MERCK.




HC sucks dogs balls http://www.sharescene.com/html/emoticons/grrr.gif

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Merrill Lynch More Bullish On CSL's HPV


Monday, July 18, 2005 8:46:47 PM ET

Dow Jones Newswires



1040 [Dow Jones] STOCK CALL: Merrill Lynch seems more bullish on CSL's (CSL.AU) proposed HPV vaccine after review; broker increases its HPV valuation range to A$4.61-A$7.29 from A$4.10-A$6.20. Also increases CSL's overall valuation to A$42.07 from A$39.92. Expects market to get more positive HPV news over next year. Keeps Buy rating. CSL up 0.4% at A$35.05. (RJN)





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In reply to: balance on Friday 22/07/05 01:46pm




Govt to develop pandemic vaccine



THE Federal Government will spend $5 million to speed the development of a pandemic influenza vaccine for Australia, Health Minister Tony Abbott said today.


The Commonwealth has begun stockpiling syringes and other medical equipment to prepare the country for any outbreak of disease.


Mr Abbott today announced $4.93 million to help pharmaceutical company CSL bring forward clinical trials of a prototype pandemic vaccine by eight months, to September 2005.


The vaccine, which could be registered as soon as August 2006, would protect against the current H5N1 strain isolated in cases in South-East Asia.


"We can't be absolutely confident that the candidate vaccine will be fully effective against a new pandemic strain," Mr Abbott said.


"Nevertheless, we do have reasonable confidence that it will be reasonably effective and that's why the government is investing almost $5 million to expedite the process."


If the trial is successful the vaccine could be used to immunise the whole population of Australia.


The announcement comes as Indonesian hospitals go on alert to treat bird flu patients following the country's first human deaths from the virus.


Mr Abbott said the funding boost was "timely" but had not been prompted by the Indonesian outbreak.


"What prompted us to do this is the realisation that pandemic flu, should it strike, could easily be the greatest public health disaster in anyone's lifetime," he said. The minister has said Australia is at greater risk of pandemic than ever before. But the probability of an outbreak is no more than 10 per cent in any given year.


The World Health Organisation estimates 2.6 million people would seek medical attention, 58,000 would be hospitalised and 13,000 would die if a pandemic hit Australia.


The Government has so far spent $156 million on pandemic preparation, stockpiling millions of syringes and surgical masks and buying extra ventilators and pressure units for hospitals.





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ABN Predicts More HPV Vaccine Upside For CSL


Thursday, July 21, 2005 10:31:45 PM ET

Dow Jones Newswires


1220 [Dow Jones] STOCK CALL: ABN Amro predicts further royalty potential for CSL's (CSL.AU) HPV vaccine. Says CSL's Iscomatrix adjuvant could be used to enhance partner Merck's HPV vaccine, which may lead to a 2% royalty increase for CSL from Merck sales. Increased royalty adds A$1.02 to its CSL valuation. Has Buy rating and A$37.71 target price on stock, against latest A$35.45, up 0.7%. (RJN)






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CSL set to deliver financial report


August 22, 2005 - 7:24PM


Pricing outlook and progress on drug products will be top of mind for analysts when blood products supplier CSL Ltd delivers its financial report card on Wednesday.


The Melbourne company has forecast an annual net profit of between $270 million and $295 million.


The forecast excludes the company's $501 million sale of cell culture reagent business, JRH Biosciences, in January and is subject to currency fluctuations and price movements in its core plasma products.


Analysts expect CSL net profit to come in between $290 million and $300.6 million on Wednesday.


The biotech tripled its annual net profit in 2003/04 boosted by its purchase in March last year of Aventis Behring, the world's second largest plasma therapeutics business.


In fiscal 2004, it booked a net profit of $219.6 million, up $70.4 million on the previous year.


Shaw Stockbroking research manager Brent Mitchell said the market would be looking for a pricing outlook and how CSL was faring with its pharmaceutical products.



"If they (CSL) come out positive on that side, you could see the (share) price move up. If they are more sanguine in that area, you (may) see the price flatten or fall."


Mr Mitchell said it would be a good sign if prices were trending up, but he did not expect the company to be too exact on that count.


In February, CSL managing director Brian McNamee said he expected IVIG (intravenous immonoglobulin) prices in the US - the company's major market - to rise to $US40 per gram in the subsequent 12 to 18 months.


IVIG is the chemical portion of blood that contains immunoglobulins or antibodies. Excess supply of blood plasma had forced IVIG prices down.


"The other aspect with CSL is progress with some of their pharmaceutical products," Mr Mitchell said.


This includes CSL's cervical cancer vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which it is developing with global pharmaceutical Merck, for which royalties are expected in 2007.


US analysts have estimated the total market for HPV to be potentially worth $US3.5 billion.


Macquarie Research analyst Paul Hughes said analysts would also be looking for integration benefits from the Aventis purchase, clarification on inventory profit, CSL's foreign exchange exposure, and a launch date for the liquid form of IVIG.


"It's a pretty complex mix of things that is going to drive the business over the next year or two," he said.


He said the timing on realising synergies from Aventis Behring was important, as that represented $US130-$US150 million a year.


CSL merged Aventis with its ZLB Bioplasma division to form ZLB Behring, which provides about 80 per cent of the company's earnings.


Mr Hughes said the company's cost base had spread since the acquisition and it had grown sales outside of the US, improving its foreign exchange exposure, a squeeze on profits in the past.





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