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Rotavirus Vaccine

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BUSINESS
April 4, 2008 | By Karl Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer
GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C. received U.S. approval yesterday for Rotarix, its new vaccine against rotavirus, which kills hundreds of thousands of children in the developing world. The approval is welcome news for GlaxoSmithKline, which announced worldwide layoffs last year after its second-leading seller, the diabetes drug Avandia, was linked to heart attacks. But the firm's new vaccine faces stiff competition from Merck & Co. Inc.'s Rotateq, which won approval two years ago and rang up $525 million in sales in 2007.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2006 | By Tom Avril INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Food and Drug Administration approved a Merck & Co. Inc. vaccine yesterday for rotavirus, a diarrhea-inducing microbe that strikes millions of U.S. children each year and kills 500,000 worldwide, primarily in developing nations where medical care is inadequate. The vaccine - which is administered orally, by squirting just a few drops in the mouth - was developed over an 11-year period by scientists at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Wistar Institute. Merck tested it on more than 70,000 infants in 11 countries, in one of the biggest clinical trials performed by a drug company.
NEWS
February 14, 2007 | By Josh Goldstein INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Food and Drug Administration yesterday notified pediatricians and parents of 28 cases of a potentially life-threatening condition in infants and children vaccinated against rotavirus, a leading cause of severe diarrhea worldwide. The agency said the cases of intussusception, in which the intestine becomes twisted and blocked, were not necessarily caused by Merck & Co.'s year-old RotaTeq vaccine. The problem occurs naturally in about one in 2,000 youngsters. The announcement, coming eight years after Wyeth was forced to withdraw its own rotavirus vaccine in response to similar reports of intestinal blockage, raises questions about a high-profile vaccine that was developed by Merck based on research done at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the nearby Wistar Institute.
NEWS
December 21, 1987 | By Jim Detjen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Fran Borian, a research nurse at the Wistar Institute, squirted a cherry- flavored liquid into the mouth of Jordan Cooperman, a handsome 11-month-old boy, as he lay on his back on a green table last week. Jordan smiled at the taste of the sweet fluid and eagerly swallowed it. His mother, Meg Cooperman, then lifted him down from the table at Andorra Pediatrics at 8945 Ridge Ave. "My eldest son was sick last Friday with diarrhea," said Cooperman, a Berwyn homemaker and the mother of two other young children.
BUSINESS
July 22, 2009 | By Miriam Hill INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Merck & Co. Inc. beat Wall Street estimates yesterday, but second-quarter profits fell 12 percent to $1.56 billion as sales of vaccines and cholesterol drugs slumped and a stronger dollar ate into earnings. But net income at Schering-Plough, which plans to merge with Merck in a $44 billion deal later this year, rose 45 percent to $671 million in the second quarter, thanks in part to growing sales of allergy drug Nasonex and arthritis drug Remicade. Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., makes most of its vaccines at its West Point facility.
NEWS
May 5, 2012 | By Walter F. Naedele, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
H Fred Clark, 75, of Center City, a social activist who was one of a trio of Philadelphia scientists whose work on the rotavirus vaccine is credited with saving children's lives worldwide since 2006, died of complications from heart and Parkinson's diseases Saturday, April 28, at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. The target of the vaccine was rotavirus, "a cause of fever, vomiting and diarrhea and dehydration in young children," said Dr. Paul Offit, who along with Dr. Stanley Plotkin, formed the trio.
LIVING
May 1, 1995 | By Susan FitzGerald, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It is a virus with staggering consequences, killing more than 870,000 babies and children worldwide each year. In this country, at least 65,000 children a year become so sick and dehydrated from the diarrhea and vomiting it causes, they need to be hospitalized. While people know its symptoms all too well, they don't know its name: Rotavirus. "It is the kind of virus that can put babies in the hospital in this country and kill them in developing countries," said Bruce Davidson, director of clinical epidemiology at Hahnemann University Hospital.
NEWS
September 11, 2006 | By Dawn Fallik INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Katie Erb was sick, and it wasn't a pretty sight. The 4-year-old was diagnosed with rotavirus and she was the sickest her mother had ever seen her. "It wasn't just horrible to see your child vomiting, it was also traumatizing for her," said Kelly Phillips Erb, who lives in Roxborough. Each year, rotavirus affects millions of children worldwide, sending more than 200,000 to emergency rooms nationwide. The fatality rate in the United States is low - about 60 deaths annually - but up to 600,000 children worldwide die from the malnutrition and dehydration that come after days of vomiting and diarrhea.
BUSINESS
October 16, 1999 | By Donna Shaw, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In yet another setback for the company, American Home Products Corp. said yesterday that it was withdrawing its rotavirus vaccine from the market after 100 infants who received it suffered bowel obstructions. It was the first time in nearly 45 years that a vaccine was withdrawn in the United States because of safety concerns. An estimated one million children were given at least one of the three recommended doses of the antidiarrheal vaccine, called RotaShield, after it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August 1998.
NEWS
October 13, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joshua Cutler had a thriving career as a network engineer for the federal government in 2006 when he suddenly fell ill. Cutler, of Winchester, Va., once had an active life as a young father who raced cars on weekends and enjoyed time with his family, but he suddenly found himself overcome with fatigue and feeling perpetually sick. He slept 18 or more hours a day. The consequences were catastrophic. He lost his house and car. His family struggled to keep its head above water. After a series of false starts, Cutler found a doctor who he said correctly diagnosed his condition as chronic Lyme disease and began a treatment plan that has made his condition marginally better.
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NEWS
October 13, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joshua Cutler had a thriving career as a network engineer for the federal government in 2006 when he suddenly fell ill. Cutler, of Winchester, Va., once had an active life as a young father who raced cars on weekends and enjoyed time with his family, but he suddenly found himself overcome with fatigue and feeling perpetually sick. He slept 18 or more hours a day. The consequences were catastrophic. He lost his house and car. His family struggled to keep its head above water. After a series of false starts, Cutler found a doctor who he said correctly diagnosed his condition as chronic Lyme disease and began a treatment plan that has made his condition marginally better.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 11, 2014 | By Ellen Gray
* NOVA: VACCINES - CALLING THE SHOTS. 10 tonight, WHYY12.   "NOVA" isn't usually a destination for the science-phobic or medically wary. But tonight on "Vaccines - Calling the Shots," the 40-year-old PBS series isn't just preaching to the choir. It's also trying to speak to those whose reluctance to vaccinate their children has helped fuel a resurgence in diseases like measles and whooping cough. And it's willing to resort to that staple of Facebook - videos of adorable babies - to do it. In this case, the adorable baby is 7-week-old Osman Chandab, who's shown, not so adorably, struggling for every breath in a Melbourne, Australia, hospital as his distraught mother looks on. Osman, we're told, was due for his pertussis (whooping cough)
NEWS
May 5, 2012 | By Walter F. Naedele, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
H Fred Clark, 75, of Center City, a social activist who was one of a trio of Philadelphia scientists whose work on the rotavirus vaccine is credited with saving children's lives worldwide since 2006, died of complications from heart and Parkinson's diseases Saturday, April 28, at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. The target of the vaccine was rotavirus, "a cause of fever, vomiting and diarrhea and dehydration in young children," said Dr. Paul Offit, who along with Dr. Stanley Plotkin, formed the trio.
NEWS
April 20, 2011
By Steven M. Altschuler The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia employs hundreds of researchers working to improve the lives of children. Often, it makes sense to extend their scientific findings beyond our patients and care providers by speaking out on public-health issues. In the public exchange of ideas, scientists are not voicing just another set of opinions; theirs are backed by peer-reviewed evidence. The famous American physicist Richard Feynman is quoted as saying, "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is; it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.
BUSINESS
July 22, 2009 | By Miriam Hill INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Merck & Co. Inc. beat Wall Street estimates yesterday, but second-quarter profits fell 12 percent to $1.56 billion as sales of vaccines and cholesterol drugs slumped and a stronger dollar ate into earnings. But net income at Schering-Plough, which plans to merge with Merck in a $44 billion deal later this year, rose 45 percent to $671 million in the second quarter, thanks in part to growing sales of allergy drug Nasonex and arthritis drug Remicade. Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., makes most of its vaccines at its West Point facility.
BUSINESS
May 7, 2009 | By Miriam Hill INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Every year, scientists developing vaccines to fend off next year's flu play a medical guessing game: They try to determine which flu strain will be most prevalent and then use it to make a vaccine. Yesterday, the Wistar Institute said it had received a patent on technology that could put an end to the guessing. The Philadelphia biomedical research institute said its technology could lead to the creation of a vaccine that would protect against all strains of influenza A virus, including those that cause seasonal flus, as well as this year's swine flu. It will take years before the Wistar technology becomes a widely available vaccine, and it may not happen at all. Wistar seeks a partner to help it develop a vaccine, which would then have to go through human clinical trials to prove whether it is safe and effective.
NEWS
September 21, 2008
Bad Science, Risky Medicine and the Search for a Cure By Paul A. Offit Columbia University Press. 328 pp. $24.95 Reviewed by Huntly Collins   Next to clean drinking water, vaccines are arguably the most important advance in public health in the last 300 years. Thanks to vaccines, we have eradicated smallpox, wiped out polio virus in the Western hemisphere, closed in on measles, and brought many other once fatal or debilitating diseases under control. But despite the indisputable track record of vaccines in lowering mortality and morbidity here and around the world, the American public has been embroiled, over the last decade, in a heated debate about whether vaccines are safe.
BUSINESS
April 4, 2008 | By Karl Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer
GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C. received U.S. approval yesterday for Rotarix, its new vaccine against rotavirus, which kills hundreds of thousands of children in the developing world. The approval is welcome news for GlaxoSmithKline, which announced worldwide layoffs last year after its second-leading seller, the diabetes drug Avandia, was linked to heart attacks. But the firm's new vaccine faces stiff competition from Merck & Co. Inc.'s Rotateq, which won approval two years ago and rang up $525 million in sales in 2007.
NEWS
February 14, 2007 | By Josh Goldstein INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Food and Drug Administration yesterday notified pediatricians and parents of 28 cases of a potentially life-threatening condition in infants and children vaccinated against rotavirus, a leading cause of severe diarrhea worldwide. The agency said the cases of intussusception, in which the intestine becomes twisted and blocked, were not necessarily caused by Merck & Co.'s year-old RotaTeq vaccine. The problem occurs naturally in about one in 2,000 youngsters. The announcement, coming eight years after Wyeth was forced to withdraw its own rotavirus vaccine in response to similar reports of intestinal blockage, raises questions about a high-profile vaccine that was developed by Merck based on research done at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the nearby Wistar Institute.
BUSINESS
December 2, 2006 | By Thomas Ginsberg INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A nonprofit alliance started by Microsoft founder Bill Gates to immunize children in developing nations will spend $200 million to help buy vaccines, including three from companies in the Philadelphia area. Calling it just its "first investment" in new vaccines, the GAVI Alliance said vaccines would include two against rotavirus, which causes severe diarrhea and sometimes death. Use of the vaccines is expected to prevent 370,000 deaths and 14 million hospitalizations of children by 2015, according to GAVI.
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