Jun 13, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The European Union (EU) has approved Novartis’s seasonal influenza vaccine, Optaflu, putting the Swiss company in a position to become the first to market a flu vaccine grown in cell culture rather than eggs.The vaccine has been approved for use in all 27 EU member states plus Iceland and Norway, Novartis announced today. It is expected to be available in Germany and Austria for the upcoming flu season and in the rest of the EU in 2008-09.EU approval was expected after the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use endorsed the vaccine on Apr 26.”Optaflu marks the first major innovation in influenza vaccine manufacturing in over 50 years,” Dr. Jorg Reinhardt, CEO of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, said in a news release.”The use of a Novartis proprietary cell culture technology enables a faster and more flexible start-up of vaccine manufacturing, offering the potential to more quickly respond to a potential pandemic influenza threat,” the company announcement said.Flu vaccines have been produced in chicken eggs since the 1950s. Growing the viruses in cell cultures is seen as much more flexible and somewhat faster than egg-based production, which takes several months. Several companies are developing cell-based production methods.In 2001 European regulators approved a cell-based vaccine made by Solvay Pharmaceuticals for sale in the Netherlands, but the company has not marketed it. Solvay’s Web site says that market introduction of the vaccine is expected in the near future.Novartis said it expects to apply next year for US approval of Optaflu. In May 2006 the US government awarded Novartis a $220 million contract to develop cell-based flu vaccines, and in July 2006 the company announced plans for a $600 million plant in North Carolina to produce them.See also:Jun 13 Novartis news releasehttp://cws.huginonline.com/N/134323/PR/200706/1132639_5_2.htmlApr 27 CIDRAP News story “Panel supports EU approval of cell-based flu vaccine”Jun 27, 2005, CIDRAP News story “Momentum builds for cell-culture flu vaccines” read more
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… Trophy Stall continues to make an inputBy Frederick HalleyTORONTO, Canada – President of the Ontario Softball Cricket League (OSCL) Albert Ramcharran has bemoaned the non-use of the white balls at competitions organised by theOSCL vice-president Terry Mathura (left) is rewarded for his outstanding dedication and commitment by president Albert Ramcharran.league,In a stirring message, contained in the brochure to celebrate the OSCL’s 21st anniversary and which was delivered recently at the league’s annual presentation, dinner and dance, Ramcharran lamented the fact that the players had stymied the continuation of playing with the white balls after it was introduced in 2015.“Last year, we introduced the white ball in our 10/10 tournament, taking into consideration that our players are required to contest at the international level with that variety and the aim was to take it another level in the 2016 season,” Ramcharran pointed out.According to the long-standing president and founder-member, “Unfortunately, our plan was derailed at the annual general meeting and we were left with no option but to carry out the wishes of the players. We can only hope that they would have a change of heart since it will extremely difficult for us to compete with the other teams at tournaments in Guyana, Florida and New York. It’s as simple as that, unless we just want to compete for the sake of it.”The OSCL president boasted that the league had grown from a fledgling body to one of prominence in the Greater Toronto area and continues to promote the grassroots sport despite a few obstacles.Navin Singh (right) receives the winning Independence Cup from Roger Sunich on behalf of Trophy Stall.“Despite a few naysayers, the OSCL has been making constant efforts to promote the game of softball to the best of our ability and in a very democratic way.“While overall, the discipline could be considered quite satisfactory during the last season, a few issues still remain unsettled and worrying but the league intends to deal with them very firmly. We have no intentions of sitting idly by and letting anyone ridicule what we strove to build in 21 years,” Ramcharran asserted.Touching on the contentious issue of pelting, Ramcharran observed that it surfaced again in the 2016 season, raising its ugly head in the Conference A final, featuring Dant and Sunshine.“The OSCL was very saddened with the manner how the proceedings were handled and will make every effort to curb any such happenings in the future. We will once again engage the umpires prior to the start of the new season to explore and find a common ground on the contentious issue.”The president also spoke about the recent initiative embarked on by the league to assist the needy in Guyana. He disclosed that a decision was taken to donate moneys to selected charitable organisations on a yearly basis.The first of such donation was made during the early part of November to the Guyana Red Cross Society Children’s Convalescent Home by vice-president Terry Mathura, who was in Guyana to participate in the Guyana Softball Cup.Ramcharran also took the opportunity to congratulate the winning and runner-up teams and all the other participating teams across all formats in our league. Special kudos were extended to Dant for their all-conquering “efforts, GTA Storm for storming to victory in the Norman Sue Bakery-sponsored 15-over tournament and debutants Enterprise who played unbeaten in Conference B and subsequently emerged winners of the division.A big ‘thank you’ was also extended to the hard-working executives for their sterling efforts in sometimes trying and demanding situations. “You have shone like beacons under the circumstances and I am extremely proud of you.”Hearty thanks were also showered on the several sponsors, including Harri Sukhu, Norman Sue Bakery and Home Trust.In recognition of his services to the OSCL and to the game of softball, Ramcharran was presented with a plaque, compliments of Trophy Stall (Guyana) with Roger Sunich doing the honours on behalf of his brother and proprietor Ramesh Sunich. Trophy Stall also sponsored the winning and Most Valuable Player trophies and medals for the annual Independence Cup.Guyana’s High Commissioner to Canada, Clarissa Riehl, in her message, described the attainment of 21 years as a remarkable achievement which could not have come to fruition without hard work and dedication. “Your devotion and hard work have not gone in vain and for this I would like to wish the Ontario Softball Cricket League continued success and many more years of existence.”Greetings were also received from Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Eleanor McMahon, on behalf of the government of Ontario.McMahon applauded the coaches and officials for their hard work, spirit and dedication to the sport of softball cricket. “You are helping to encourage physical activity in a welcoming environment for athletes for all ages,” she observed.According to the minister, she has the privilege of seeing the positive impact that participation in sport can have on individuals and communities. “This league demonstrates the importance of inclusive and accessible sport opportunities for everyone.” read more
AUSTRALIA OPENFormer number one female tennis star, Serena Williams, has refused to blame a jarred ankle after suffering a remarkable Australia Open collapse in the quarter-finals against Karolina Pliskova.From a set and a break down, the title favourite turned things around to lead 5-1 in the deciding set and had four match points but lost six games in a row to fall to a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 defeat. Williams had her first match point at 5-1 but, after being called for a foot fault on what appeared to be an ace, she jarred her left ankle and did not win another point on serve during the match.The other three chances came with Pliskova serving at 4-5 but the Czech was rewarded for bravery on her forehand, and Williams insisted afterwards it had been her opponent who had won the match rather than she who had lost it.Williams said: ‘There’s nothing I did wrong on those match points. I can’t say that I choked. She literally played her best tennis ever on those shots.‘I don’t really take losses well. But Karolina played lights out starting 5-1, 40-30. Literally, I’ve never seen anything like it. If anything, I think that’s a little bit easier to know, OK, next time I’m up 5-1 against anybody, I just need to make sure I play lights out when I have match points.‘It’s little things like that that I used to do, always do, that I need matches to know that, OK, this is when you go psycho.’Pliskova was happy to agree with Williams, saying with a smile: ‘I’m not going to go against Serena.‘Normally I’m having lot of comebacks, but maybe from being a set down or a break down, so nothing like this. I think it’s going to be the best comeback ever so far in my life.’Asked why she had not called the trainer after the ankle incident, Williams said: ‘I really hate calling the trainer out. And at that point I didn’t feel like I needed it, or I didn’t feel like it would be a big deal. So I just kept going. I like to just kind of tough it out. It was fine.’Having won her 23rd grand slam singles title in the early stages of pregnancy here two years ago to move within one of Margaret Court’s record, the pursuit of 24 has been a crazy rollercoaster.After losing in the final of her second slam back at Wimbledon to Angelique Kerber, Williams then suffered her infamous meltdown in New York in the US Open final against Naomi Osaka.Now comes this unexpected setback, and the 37-year-old said: ‘It’s definitely not easy for me. From day one, I expect to go out and, quite frankly, to win. That hasn’t happened.‘But I do like my attitude. I like that I don’t want to go out here and say, I expect to lose because I had a year off. It hasn’t happened yet, but I feel like it’s going to happen.’This was Pliskova’s second high-profile victory over Williams at a slam after she also won their semi-final meeting in New York in 2016 to reach what is so far her only final.The straight-talking 26-year-old stands out for her refusal to be intimidated by Williams, and she said: ‘I think maybe she didn’t expect it from the beginning. She looked like she was a little too passive. Then she just went for it because I believed from the first ball I can win. I think that was the biggest victory for me today.’Even Pliskova’s belief was tested at 1-5, with the Czech admitting in her on-court interview that she was almost in the locker room.‘This is I think not happening often, maybe once in life,’ she said later. ‘But I went for it. Maybe this can be over, but let’s just try this game. I was with the wind, which kind of helped me a little bit. I just went for my shots.‘For sure it was in her head. Lot of things happened. I saw a chance and I just took it.’In the last four, Pliskova will take on fourth seed Osaka, who extended her winning run at the slams to 12 matches with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Elina Svitolina, who was hampered by pain in her shoulder and neck.The Japanese player is now in pole position to take over as world No 1 at the end of the tournament, although intriguingly Pliskova and Petra Kvitova are also still in contention.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram read more
Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearHolloway (20-4) defends his belt for the first time in 2019 when he had a bloody war with Ortega at UFC 231 and won by fourth-round TKO to run his winning streak at featherweight to 13. The 27-year-old’s overall winning streak of 13 ended in April, when he lost to Dustin Poirier by unanimous decision for the interim lightweight title at UFC 236. Edgar (22-6-1) returns to the Octagon for the first time in 15 months, having defeated Cub Swanson by unanimous decision last April. The former lightweight champion was scheduled to face Yair Rodriguez in November, but “The Answer” had to pull out due to a torn bicep. When is UFC 240?UFC 240 will take place Saturday, July 27. Pay-per-view coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET. Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar should enter the Octagon around 12:15 a.m.How do I watch UFC 240?The main card on pay-per-view can be purchased for $59.99. Every PPV can be seen exclusively through the end of 2025 on ESPN+. Where is UFC 240?UFC 240 will be held at Rogers Place in Edmonton.UFC 240 betting oddsAccording to sportsbookreview.com (as of July 23), Max Holloway is a -410 favorite, which means you’d need to bet $410 to win $100. Frankie Edgar is a +340 underdog, meaning if you were to bet $100, you would net $340.Max Holloway record, bioName: Max HollowayNationality: AmericanBorn: December 4, 1991Height: 5-11Reach: 69 inchesTotal fights: 24Record: 20-4Frankie Edgar record, bioName: Frankie EdgarNationality: AmericanBorn: October 16, 1981Height: 5-6Reach: 68″Total fights: 29Record: 22-6-1UFC 240 fight cardMain cardMax Holloway (c) vs. Frankie Edgar for Holloway’s featherweight titleCris Cyborg vs. Felicia Spencer; Women’s featherweights Geoff Neal vs. Niko Price; Welterweights Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Arman Tsarukyan; Lightweights Marc-André Barriault vs. Krzysztof Jotko; Middleweights Preliminary card Alexis Davis vs. Viviane Araújo; Women’s flyweights Hakeem Dawodu vs. Yoshinori Horie; Featherweights Gavin Tucker vs. Seung Woo Choi; Featherweights Alexandre Pantoja vs. Deiveson Figueiredo; Flyweights Gillian Robertson vs. Sarah Frota; Women’s Flyweights Erik Koch vs. Kyle Stewart; Welterweights UFC 240 latest news – Max Holloway fought on a pay-per-view main card for the first time when Frankie Edgar was at the top of the bill. Holloway explains to SN his feelings on facing someone he’s always looked up too.- A lot of hoopla has surrounded Cris Cyborg heading into UFC 240. She tells SN that in her mind, life isn’t just stepping in the cage. One of the best fighters in the world and a former world champion finally lock horns on Saturday when Max Holloway puts his featherweight championship on the line against Frankie Edgar in the main event of UFC 240 at the Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The co-main event has Cris Cyborg taking on Felicia Spencer in women’s featherweight action. Originally, Holloway and Edgar were supposed to meet at UFC 222 back in March 2018, but the champion had to bow out of the fight due to a leg injury. Edgar stayed on the card and suffered a first-round knockout to Brian Ortega. – Looking to make some extra money? Check out our odds on the UFC 240 headliner, who wins and what is the pick to make?- On the fence about ordering UFC 240? Here’s everything you need to know about the UFC’s second PPV event of July. read more