Sanofi-Aventis is recalling some 800,000 of its paediatric swine flu vaccine in the USA due to a drop in potency.

The recall was revealed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which said that four lots were found “to have dropped below a pre-specified limit” of strength. However it noted that there are no safety concerns with these lots of H1N1 vaccine and all of them “successfully passed pre-release testing for purity, potency and safety”.

The batches were shipped in November and are intended for children aged 6-35 months. The CDC added that it and the US Food and Drug Administration agree that the small decrease in antigen content “is unlikely to result in a clinically significant reduction in immune response among persons who have received the vaccine”.

New chairman?
Staying with Sanofi, it is being reported that French businessman Serge Weinberg is being considered as a replacement for chairman Jean-Francois Dehecq. The latter is due to resign next year, when he turns 70.

Mr. Weinberg is chairman of his own private equity firm, Weinberg Capital Partners and was previously chief executive of PPR and, more recently, chairman of the hotel chain Accor.