Though a worrisome flu season is knocking at the Northern Hemisphere's door, the five biopharmaceutical companies awarded massive contracts by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for development and production of more than 195 million doses of swine flu vaccine can't really complain. The companies -- Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, MedImmune, Australian drug maker CSL, and Sanofi-Pasteur -- have been hard at work developing and testing vaccines since the H1N1 surfaced in the US, Mexico, and Canada early this spring. Though drug companies don't tend to make production costs public, these five will likely make a pretty penny as swine flu hits in earnest this fall. Rachael David, a spokesperson for CSL, Australia, said in an email to __The Scientist__ that the company has contracts to supply 21 million doses of a swine flu vaccine to the Australian government and USD $180 million worth of bulk antigen to the...

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