Troubled US company, Chiron, yesterday revealed that it would not be able to supply its Begrivac flu vaccine to markets outside the USA during the 2005/6 flu season, just days after announcing that it had had to stop production at a plant in Germany supplying the non-US market because of quality control and sterility issues [[18/07/05a]].

Last week, the firm sharply cut the number of vaccine units it expected to ship to non-US markets from 12 million to four million, assuming it could meet its target of resuming production in October and covering the shortfall with flu vaccine made at another facility in Italy. It is still working to cover the vaccine shortfall with other non-US influenza vaccines.

In spite of the news, the company’s share price moved little during trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange yesterday, and the company is standing firm that there will be no change to its full-year 2005 financial guidance.

Chiron found itself at the centre of the flu vaccine furore last year after the product license for its Fluvirin flu vaccine was suspended after manufacturing deficiencies at its plant in Liverpool were uncovered [[06/10/04b]]. The US Food and Drug Administration inspection of the plant is now underway.