Swine flu has reached Europe


Spain's Health Ministry confirmed Europe's first case of swine flu on Monday. In the next 24 hours dozens of suspected cases cropped up all over Europe. On Tuesday, suspected cases were reported in Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden.
The EU has called for an extraordinary meeting of health ministers and issued a travel advisory against non-essential trips to areas where the virus has surfaced. There's no European action plan against a pandemic. Each is taking measures on a national level, which are overseen by ECDC.
The virus is a novel human H1N1 influenza variant with genomic elements of human, avian and porcine flu viruses, which apparently is able to be transmitted from human to human but up to now has not been identified in pigs, acording to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta.
So far the only "swine flu" deaths recorded have been in Mexico, where 7 people were confirmed to have died from the disease. The United States has recorded the second highest rate of infection, but no deaths.
Acting CDC director Richard Besser rejected a warning from EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou that appeared to call on Europeans to avoid travel to the United States and Mexico, calling it "quite premature." US virologists recommended not to panic but to analyse the virus’ target group and the number of confirmed cases.
Reports from the CDC indicate that the virus is susceptible to the usual neuraminidase blockers Oseltamivir (Tamiflu, Roche) and Zanamivir (Relenza, GlaxoSmithKline).
On Wednesday morning Swiss Roche AG confirmed that it is working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and governments around the world to make the oral antiviral medication Tamiflu available to patients in need following the increased reports of outbreaks of swine flu. Revenues with the flu therapy , which is active against this new swine flu virus A(H1N1), dropped significantly last year as there were few cases of avian flu.



Granada – Alentia Biotech, a joint venture of Grupo Ferrer Internacional S.A. and Laboratorios Farmacéuticos Rovi S.A, has announced plans to construct a national production centre to supply the Spanish population with flu...



Lisbon – A Portuguese-American research team has discovered an association between a variant in the gene DZIP1 and Parkinson’s disease (PD). The collaboration brought André Valente from the Biocant Biotechnology Innovation Center...



Granada - Alentia Biotech, a joint venture of Spanish pharmaceuticals companies Laboratorios Farmaceuticos Rovi SA and Ferrer, will invest €92m in the construction of a flu vaccines plant in Granada. The annual production...



Madrid - Spain unveiled a grand alliance between all stakeholders in biomedicine to foster innovation in the sector. Minister of Science and Innovation, Cristina Garmendia, met the representatives of institutions, public research...

Italy, SpainSpain


Vinaros – The Italian company Transactiva failed to start a field trial of a genetically modified rice variant in southeastern Spain. Although the National Commission on Biosafety had approved the field trial, the Committee on...



Madrid/Ingelheim – Pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim has cleared the way for Spanish rival Almirall and ended a long-standing patent squabble, although the reconciliation was not exactly voluntary. Behind the scenes,...



Madrid – Spain is working to establish itself as a European hotspot for bio­energy production. The country’s Abengoa Bioenergia Nuevas Tecnologias, a subsidiary of Abengoa Bioenergy, will lead an international consortium in the...



Madrid – Agendas, working committees and associations in Europe’s biotechnology sector are not hard to find. Now the spanking new Spanish Biotech Platform (launched in May) has to show if it is more than just another extension of...



Madrid – Noscira, a Madrid-based company looking for Alzheimer treatments in marine life forms, raised a19m in a private placement of 3.8 million shares at EUR5 to existing and new investors. The main stakeholder is Zeltia S.A,...

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