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Analysis: US flu plan cuts red tape, rewards biotechs

Reuters, August 20, 2010

The U.S. government released a new plan on Thursday for cutting red tape and working more closely with companies to prepare for the next big biological disaster -- be it a flu pandemic or nuclear attack. The plan from the Health and Human Services Department directly addresses many of the complaints industry has made about obtuse regulations and convoluted processes for testing new drugs and vaccines. The biggest winners may be small biotech companies, which often lead the scientific advances but lack the know-how or capacity to get drugs to market. The report recommends HHS "support the development of at least three influenza vaccine candidates whose manufacture does not depend on virus grown in eggs or cells."