GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is closely monitoring the situation regarding the emergence of a new influenza A (H1N1) strain in Mexico, the United States of America, Canada, France, Spain and New Zealand. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that the current situation constitutes a public health emergency of international concern and they have raised their level of influenza surveillance globally.
GSK has proactively contacted relevant organisations and governments – including the WHO, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the United States, and the government of Mexico – to understand what support may be required. The company is also sharing resources with authorities to gain a better understanding of this new virus. GSK is committed to working with the WHO and relevant organisations to provide any support they may need.
GSK has developed a number of potential interventions which we believe may be of value in efforts to reduce the impact and spread of this new influenza virus. These include the antiviral treatment Relenza (zanamivir), and a significant range of vaccine capabilities including novel adjuvant technology, with the purpose of antigen sparing.
The WHO reports that the viruses obtained from the recent human cases with swine influenza in the United States were sensitive to oseltamivir and zanamivir but resistant to amantadine and remantadine.
Since the start of the outbreak, GSK has supplied 100,000 packs of Relenza and 170,000 additional doses of our seasonal influenza vaccine to the Mexican authorities, at their request. GSK is continuing to discuss with the Mexican authorities whether further support from GSK is needed at this time. In addition, GSK is urgently assessing mechanisms to increase production of Relenza.
GSK continues to closely monitor the situation with the WHO and other national agencies, and stands ready to initiate discussions with local authorities for the manufacture of a vaccine to help prevent this new influenza strain, once a suitable candidate vaccine strain is available from the WHO.