Baxter To Develop Swine Flu Vaccine Despite Bird Flu Scandal
A U.S. based pharmaceutical company that just weeks ago was involved in a scandal involving vaccines tainted with deadly avian flu virus has been chosen to head up efforts to produce a vaccine for the Mexican swine flu that has seemingly migrated into the U.S. and Europe.
Baxter confirmed over the weekend that it is working with the World Health Organization on a potential vaccine to curb the deadly swine flu virus that is blamed for scores of deaths in Mexico and has emerged as a threat in the U.S., reports the Chicago Tribune.
Baxter has previously worked with governments all over the globe to develop and produce vaccines to protect against infectious disease or potential threats from bioterrorism. After 9/11 Baxter helped supply stockpiles of a smallpox vaccine and in 2003 the company was contracted to develop a vaccine to combat the SARS virus. In 2006 the UK Government announced plans designed to inoculate every person in the country with Baxter’s vaccines in the event of a flu pandemic.
However, Baxter has a very recent and most disturbing connection to flu vaccines.
As reported by multiple sources last month, including the Times of India, vaccines contaminated with deadly live H5N1 avian flu virus were distributed to 18 countries last December by a lab at an Austrian branch of Baxter.
It was only by providence that the batch was first tested on ferrets in the Czech Republic, before being shipped out for injection into humans. The ferrets all died and the shocking discovery was made.
Initially, Baxter attempted to stonewall questions by invoking “trade secrets” and refused to reveal how the vaccines were contaminated with H5N1. After increased pressure they then claimed that pure H5N1 batches were sent by accident.
Since the probability of mixing a live virus biological weapon with vaccine material by accident is virtually impossible, this leaves no other explanation than that the contamination was a deliberate attempt to weaponize the H5N1 virus to its most potent extreme and distribute it via conventional flu vaccines to the population who would then infect others to a devastating degree as the disease went airborne.
The fact that Baxter mixed the deadly H5N1 virus with a mix of H3N2 seasonal flu viruses is the smoking gun. The H5N1 virus on its own has killed hundreds of people, but it is less airborne and more restricted in the ease with which it can spread. However, when combined with seasonal flu viruses, which as everyone knows are super-airborne and easily spread, the effect is a potent, super-airborne, super deadly biological weapon.
Indeed, some have already suggested that the current scare could represent the use of such a weapon.
Now it has been announced that Baxter is seeking a sample of the potentially lethal never before seen form of swine/avian/human flu virus in order to assist the World Health Organization in developing a new vaccine, reaping billions in the process.
Why should Baxter be trusted, when they have already been proven to be at the very least criminally negligent, and at worst a prime suspect in attempting to carry off one of the most heinous crimes in the history of mankind?
The company has already put the safety of the entire human race at risk, and now, just a few weeks later, we’re expected to invest our confidence in them and take their shots with a smile and a still tongue?
As Mike Adams of Natural News has commented, “If you mail an envelope full of anthrax to your Senator, you get arrested as a terrorist. So why is Baxter — which mailed samples of a far more deadly viral strain to labs around the world — getting away with saying, essentially, ‘Oops?’”
WHO officials are reportedly still closely monitoring the investigation into Baxter’s contaminated flu vaccines, seemingly they are not too concerned. Perhaps we should be.
Source: PrisonPlanet.com, by Steve Watson, 27 April 2009.
And this is an even more alarming one I found from 2004, saying that the CDC ‘will mate H5N1 and human flu viruses in a process known as reassortment’
CDC To Conduct Avian Flu Pandemic Experiments
The alarm now sounds with increasing frequency and urgency: the world could be on the brink of an influenza pandemic sparked by the highly virulent avian flu strain ravaging poultry stocks in Southeast Asia, experts fear.
But can that strain — known as H5N1 — actually acquire the ability to spread easily to and among people? And if it can, how likely is that dreaded event to occur?
Early in the new year, U.S. scientists will begin experiments that should provide some answers to those questions. In the process, they hope to learn more about why a virus that nature designed to infect migratory water birds has the astonishing capacity to kill mammal species ranging from house cats to tigers to humans.
The work won’t indicate how soon a pandemic might start. And the findings can’t be taken as a guarantee the virus will evolve as the science predicts.
“Like a lot of science, it’s an imitation of nature,” explains Dr. Frank Plummer, scientific director of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory.
“It doesn’t replicate exactly what happens. But I think it gives you an idea of the propensity of the H5N1 virus to do this thing.”
The researchers, from the influenza branch of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, will mate H5N1 and human flu viruses in a process known as reassortment. Viable offspring will be tested in animals thought to be good surrogates for humans, to see if the viruses can infect, can be transmitted easily from infected animals to healthy ones and to note the severity of disease each provokes.
In other words, the CDC researchers will be deliberately engineering viruses of pandemic potential. It’s high-risk but crucial work, the influenza community insists.
“It’s a dangerous experiment,” admits Dr. Robert Webster, a world-renowned expert on influenza based at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
Still, Webster has no doubt the work needs doing. Science must gain a better understanding of the menacing H5N1 virus.
“These experiments are fully justified, knowing what we know,” he stresses, using a scatological adjective to describe how scared influenza experts are of H5N1.
“This is the worst virus I’ve ever met in my long career.”
The World Health Organization has been pleading for months for qualified research facilities — of which there are few — to undertake this work.
The Geneva-based agency would like to be able to put some kind of odds on how likely H5N1 is to become a pandemic strain and how deadly — or not — H5N1 reassortment viruses might be in humans.
If none of the hybrids cause severe disease, the organization might feel comfortable with stepping down its current high level of alert, explains Dr. Klaus Stohr, director of the WHO’s global influenza program.
On the other hand, if CDC researchers easily produce highly transmissible and lethal hybrids, “that would certainly add to our concern.”
It’s about quantifying risk.
“Currently we do risk-speculation, but we want to do risk-assessment. And that will give us scientific evidence on the possible outcome on the emergence of a pandemic virus,” Stohr says.
“It will give us an opportunity to predict the probability because we will have an understanding on the number of reassortment viruses which are viable, the percentage of those that are viable which are then transmissible — and also on the percentage of those which are viable, transmissible and pathogenic. And how pathogenic they are.”
The CDC researchers will work in high containment level 3-enhanced labs, says Dr. Nancy Cox, the leading influenza authority who heads the agency’s flu branch. The labs have special features designed to protect both the health of the workers and the world against a viral escape.
“It’s not typical level 3,” Cox says, adding the lab workers are “extremely cognizant of the danger of the H5 viruses.”
“And of course we know we can autoclave these viruses,” she adds, referring to a process that kills using high pressure and heat. “So if you find something that is particularly worrisome, you can get rid of it.”
Still, lab accidents happen. Since SARS was contained in mid-2003, four lab workers in Asia have infected themselves with the potentially deadly disease and one spread it beyond the walls of the laboratory. Earlier this year, a Russian lab worker died after accidentally infecting herself with Ebola virus.
Given that reality, some groups have raised concern that work like this should not be done. But a top virologist from the Netherlands insists it must be, expressing confidence in the CDC’s ability to do the job safely.
“If it’s being done by CDC, then the good thing about that is that safety measures will properly be in place,” said Dr. Albert Osterhaus, of the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam.
The CDC researchers will mix genes from H5N1 with genes from circulating strains of human flu to see which combinations produce viruses that grow and infect. Cox says H3N2 — the strain that has been responsible for most human flu in recent years — will be the first priority.
However, Southeast Asia has recently seen activity with H1N1, the mild modern descendant of the strain that caused the Spanish flu of 1918. So the CDC has been sequencing H1N1 viruses recently isolated in Thailand to be able to work with it as well.
“We’re really keeping our minds open. But as long as H3N2 viruses continue to predominate, that will be our first target,” Cox says.
Reassortment studies can be performed two ways, she explains. Scientists can use reverse genetics, a procedure that allows them to custom tailor a virus with a predetermined constellation of genes from each parent virus.
The other alternative is what Cox describes as the classical way — simultaneously infecting tissue culture with H5N1 and H3N2 viruses and seeing what results. That approach is more time-consuming and laborious, but more closely mimics evolution of influenza viruses in nature.
“We will probably be using a combination of the two different methods. I think there are advantages and disadvantages to each,” says Cox, who believes her team may have some preliminary results within a couple of months of beginning the work.
Some skeptics have pointed to the fact H5N1 hasn’t yet reassorted to argue it may not be able to do so outside of the artificial confines of a laboratory.
Webster thinks that optimism is misplaced. He calls H5N1 “one of the most promiscuous viruses that we’ve ever seen. It would amaze me if it wouldn’t mate with a human virus, given the opportunity.”
CDC researchers have already made hybrid viruses with H5N1, using versions of the virus isolated after it first caused human infections in 1997 in Hong Kong.
“Some gene combinations could be produced and others were not,” is all Cox will reveal of that as-yet unpublished work.
Even if, in this new round of experiments, CDC’s researchers fail to produce a single viable hybrid virus, that doesn’t prove H5N1 won’t reassort in nature, experts say.
For one thing, flu viruses are constantly evolving. The viruses that the CDC will work with now — isolated in 2004 — are not identical to those from the 1997 outbreak. A combination that fails with the 1997 virus might work with a 2004 virus — or a 2005 version.
“Things in nature can happen that you can’t replicate in the lab necessarily,” stresses Plummer, whose lab is working on producing reassortments of H7N3, the strain behind last spring’s avian flu outbreak in British Columbia.
“Can you be sure that all possible virus reassortments have occurred? No. And fairly minor changes in viruses can make really huge differences in their biologic properties.’
Source: Canadian Press, 27th December 2004.
So in 2004 we have the CDC actively planning to mix animal and human viruses, then we have Baxter ‘accidently’ mixing the viruses and releasing them and now the same company is making a vaccine to save everyone from swine flu. Coincidence? No way.
Here is an article where the CDC say that the virus is pig/human/bird mixed together, and given their 2004 discussion on mixing human/animal viruses, I think it is blatently obvious.
New Flu Combines Pig, Bird, Human Virus
* Seven diagnosed with strange hybrid virus
* Virus combines diseases from pigs, birds, humans
* No time for concern yet, says expert
SEVEN people have been diagnosed with a strange and unusual new kind of swine flu in California and Texas, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
All seven people have recovered but the virus itself is a never-before-seen mixture of viruses typical among pigs, birds and humans, the CDC said.
“We are likely to find more cases,” the CDC’s Dr Anne Schuchat said.
“We don’t think this is time for major concern around the country.”
However, some experts fear this strain, or another strain, could spark a pandemic that could kill millions.
Unusually, the viruses all appear to carry genes from swine flu, avian flu and human flu viruses from North America, Europe and Asia.
“We haven’t seen this strain before, but we hadn’t been looking as intensively as we have,” Dr Schuchat said.
“It’s very possible that this is something new that hasn’t been happening before.”
Source: new.com.au, 24th April 2009.
Scientist Blames Swine Flu On Vaccines
The World Health Organization is investigating a claim by an Australian researcher that the swine flu virus circling the globe may have been created as a result of human error.
Adrian Gibbs, 75, who collaborated on research that led to the development of Roche Holding AG’s Tamiflu drug, said in an interview that he intends to publish a report suggesting the new strain may have accidentally evolved in eggs scientists use to grow viruses and drugmakers use to make vaccines. Gibbs said he came to his conclusion as part of an effort to trace the virus’s origins by analyzing its genetic blueprint.
“One of the simplest explanations is that it’s a laboratory escape,” Gibbs said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today. “But there are lots of others.”
The World Health Organization received the study last weekend and is reviewing it, Keiji Fukuda, the agency’s assistant director-general of health security and environment, said in an interview May 11. Gibbs, who has studied germ evolution for four decades, is one of the first scientists to analyze the genetic makeup of the virus that was identified three weeks ago in Mexico and threatens to touch off the first flu pandemic since 1968.
A virus that resulted from lab experimentation or vaccine production may indicate a greater need for security, Fukuda said. By pinpointing the source of the virus, scientists also may better understand the microbe’s potential for spreading and causing illness, Gibbs said.
“The sooner we get to grips with where it’s come from, the safer things might become,” Gibbs said by phone from Canberra yesterday. “It could be a mistake” that occurred at a vaccine production facility or the virus could have jumped from a pig to another mammal or a bird before reaching humans, he said.
Gibbs and two colleagues analyzed the publicly available sequences of hundreds of amino acids coded by each of the flu virus’s eight genes. He said he aims to submit his three-page paper today for publication in a medical journal.
“You really want a very sober assessment” of the science behind the claim, Fukuda said May 11 at the WHO’s Geneva headquarters.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has received the report and has decided there is no evidence to support Gibbs’s conclusion, said Nancy Cox, director of the agency’s influenza division. She said since researchers don’t have samples of swine flu viruses from South America and Africa, where the new strain may have evolved, those regions can’t be ruled out as natural sources for the new flu.
“We are interested in the origins of this new influenza virus,” Cox said. “But contrary to what the author has found, when we do the comparisons that are most relevant, there is no evidence that this virus was derived by passage in eggs.”
The 4WHO’s collaborative influenza research centers, which includes the CDC, and sites in Memphis, Melbourne, London and Tokyo, were asked by the international health agency to review the study over the weekend, Fukuda said. The request was extended to scientists at the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, the World Organization for Animal Health in Paris, as well as the WHO’s influenza network, he said.
“My guess is that the picture should be a lot clearer over the next few days,” Fukuda said. “We have asked a lot of people to look at this.”
Gibbs wrote or co-authored more than 250 scientific publications on viruses during his 39-year career at the Australian National University in Canberra, according to biographical information on the university’s Web site.
Swine flu has infected 5,251 people in 30 countries so far, killing 61, according to WHO data. Scientists are trying to determine whether the virus will mutate and become more deadly if it spreads to the Southern Hemisphere and back. Flu pandemics occur when a strain of the disease to which few people have immunity evolves and spreads.
Gibbs said his analysis supports research by scientists including Richard Webby, a virologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, who found the new strain is the product of two distinct lineages of influenza that have circulated among swine in North America and Europe for more than a decade.
In addition, Gibbs said his research found the rate of genetic mutation in the new virus was about three times faster than that of the most closely related viruses found in pigs, suggesting it evolved outside of swine.
“Whatever speeded up the evolution of these genes happened at least seven or eight years ago, so one wonders, why hasn’t it been found?” Gibbs said today.
Some scientists have speculated that the 1977 Russian flu, the most recent global outbreak, began when a virus escaped from a laboratory.
Identifying the source of new flu viruses is difficult without finding the exact strain in an animal or bird “reservoir,” said Jennifer McKimm-Breschkin, a virologist at the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organization in Melbourne.
“If you can’t find an exact match, the best you can do is compare sequences,” she said. “Similarities may give an indication of a possible source, but this remains theoretical.”
The World Organization for Animal Health, which represents chief veterinary officers from 174 countries, received the Gibbs paper and is working with the WHO on an assessment, said Maria Zampaglione, a spokeswoman.
The WHO wants to know whether any evidence that the virus may have been developed in a laboratory can be corroborated and whether there are other explanations for its particular genetic patterns, according to Fukuda.
“These things have to be dealt with straight on,” he said. “If someone makes a hypothesis, then you test it and you let scientific process take its course.”
Gibbs said he has no evidence that the swine-derived virus was a deliberate, man-made product.
“I don’t think it could be a malignant thing,” he said. “It’s much more likely that some random thing has put these two viruses together.”
Gibbs, who spent most of his academic career studying plant viruses, said his major contribution to the study of influenza occurred in 1975, while collaborating with scientists Graeme Laver and Robert Webster in research that led to the development of the anti-flu medicines Tamiflu and Relenza, made by GlaxoSmithKline Plc.
“We were out on one of the Barrier Reef islands, off Australia, catching birds for the flu in them, and I happened to be the guy who caught the best,” Gibbs said. The bird he got “yielded the poo from which was isolated the influenza isolate strain from which all the work on Tamiflu and Relenza started.”
Gibbs, who says he studies the evolution of flu viruses as a “retirement hobby,” expects his research to be challenged by other scientists.
“This is how science progresses,” he said. “Somebody comes up with a wild idea, and then they all pounce on it and kick you to death, and then you start off on another silly idea.”
Source: Bloomburg.com, by Jason Gale and Simeon Bennett, 13th May 2009.
More Evidence That Swine Flu Was Purposefully Spread
The first cases of swine flu occured at the beginning of 2009, and were reported in the media in April 2009.
However, Baxter, the company who ‘accidently’ sent out vaccines contaminated with bird/pig flu to several different countries, had registered a patent application in August 2008 – BEFORE the swine flu cases were known about, that said:
‘In particular preferred embodiments the composition or vaccine comprises more than one antigen…..such as influenza A and influenza B in particular selected from of one or more of the human H1N1, H2N2, H3N2, H5N1, H7N7, H1N2,H9N2, H7N2, H7N3, H10N7 subtypes, of the pig flu H1N1,H1N2, H3N1 and H3N2 subtypes, of the dog or horse flu H7N7,H3N8 subtypes or of the avian H5N1, H7N2, H1N7, H7N3,H13N6, H5N9, H11N6, H3N8, H9N2, H5N2, H4N8, H10N7, H2N2,H8N4, H14N5, H6N5, H12N5 subtypes.’
Now they suddenly had some kind of magic fortune telling ability to predict that people would ‘require’ vaccines against avian and pig flu!!
See here for the patent application: