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Chiron recalls vaccine, revises 2005 earnings

Chiron recalls vaccine, revises 2005 earnings
Thursday 16 March 2006, 9:51am EST

CHICAGO, March 16 (Reuters) - Chiron Corp. on Thursday said it is recalling and withdrawing its measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, MORUPAR, from Italian and developing world markets because it may be associated with a higher rate of adverse side effects than other such vaccines.

The adverse events on which the recall and withdrawal are based are within a range of those commonly associated with vaccines, such as fever, allergic reactions and swelling of the glands, Chiron said.

As a result of the recall and other adjustments, Chiron said it revised its 2005 net earnings per share to 94 cents from 97 cents per share.

The Emeryville, California-based biotechnology company said it has written off about $6 million of MORUPAR inventory in 2005 as a result of the withdrawal and has recorded about $1.7 million of product return reserves in 2005 in connection with expected returns of 2005 product sales from the recall.

In 2005, Chiron's sales of the MORUPAR vaccine was about $10 million.

Chiron supplied about 5 million doses of the vaccine in 2005, providing most of it to a limited number of developing countries and about 450,000 doses to Italy.

The recall and withdrawal of MORUPAR, which Chiron produces in Italy, does not affect any of Chiron's other vaccines.

Chiron shares were off 22 cents to $45.48 on the Nasdaq in early trading.

Source: Reuters