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Thursday, January 13, 2011

J&J target Crucell resumes Korean vaccine production, (CRCL), (NYSE: JNJ)

Dutch biotech Crucell (CRCL.AS) has resumed production of its paediatric vaccines at a South Korean plant following a contamination setback last year, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday. Crucell halted shipments from the facility last October following the microbiological contamination, sparking concerns that U.S. healthcare group Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) might withdraw or lower its 1.75 billion euros bid for the company. "Crucell has started manufacturing pentavalent again, but the doses being produced will not be able to be released onto the market until the Korean FDA gives the go-ahead," said Alison Brunier, a spokeswoman at the World Health Organisation. Brunier added Crucell's vaccines cannot be supplied to international agencies such as UNICEF until the WHO gives its final assessment of the manufacturing setback and the steps Crucell has taken to resolve the problem.