EMERYVILLE, Calif. (AP) _ Biotech company Chiron Corp. said Thursday it was recalling and withdrawing a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine that it supplies to developing countries and to Italy because of a higher rate of adverse effects after immunization versus other similar vaccines.
About 5 million doses of the Morupar vaccine were distributed to developing countries in 2005, and about 450,000 doses were distributed in Italy, Chiron said.
The company said that the side-effects included fever, allergic reactions and glandular swelling, which occurred just after inoculation.
Chiron said in a statement the reactions do not indicate any long-term risk. Chiron considers the recall and withdrawal a precaution.
Chiron said that it will work closely with the World Health Organization to conduct a risk-benefit analysis to see if the vaccine should be rereleased in limited quantities. The recall does not affect its other vaccines, Chiron said.
The recall prompted the company to lower its fourth-quarter results by 3 cents per share.
The company revised its earnings to $138 million, or 68 cents per share, from $144 million, or 71 cents a share, for the fourth-quarter, and to $180 million, or 94 cents per share, from $187 million, or 97 cents a share, for the year. Chiron reported results in late January.
The company's Morupar vaccine booked $10 million in sales for 2005. Chiron wrote off about $6 million of Morupar inventory for 2005 and recorded $1.7 million of reserves for anticipated product returns.
Shares of Chiron fell 10 cents to $45.60 in early morning trading on the Nasdaq.
Emeryville, Calif.-based Chiron set off a public health panic when it failed to deliver half the nation's expected 100 million flu shots in 2004 after British regulators discovered contaminated vaccine. Chiron has said it delivered 13 million flu vaccine doses in 2005.