'Vomiting bug' vaccine coming for cruise lines
Scientists are closing in on an immunization for the norovirus, a scourge of seafaring vacationers and many others.
Nicknamed the "vomiting bug," the norovirus has become a scourge of the cruise industry -- six ship outbreaks were reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this year alone.
But relief may be coming for cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) and Carnival (CCL) as early-stage studies on a vaccine for the virus are coming to a close this year, reports Bloomberg.
The good news is that several pharmaceutical companies and researchers are making progress. The bad news? It could be "several years" before the vaccine reaches consumers, Takeda Pharmaceutical (TKPHF) executive Rajeev Venkkaya told the news service.
One course of shots could give lifelong protection against 95% of the virus' strains. Takeda is furthest along in this pursuit among several companies and researchers, which include UMN Pharma of Japan, Finland's University of Tampere and Arizona State University.
A norovirus vaccine could add as much as $400 million in annual revenue to coffers at Japan's Takeda, Barclays analyst Atsushi Seki told Bloomberg.
It would also be a boon to the $40 billion cruise industry, which has already been hit with with a public relations disaster over Carnival's so-called poop cruise. Carnival got slammed with negative publicity when its Triumph was stranded for five days in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine fire. Reports of raw sewage running down walls turned stomachs everywhere.
Last month, Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas also suffered a fire, adding to the industry's image woes.
Norovirus affects about 20 million people a year, resulting in 70,000 hospitalizations, the CDC says. It's most common in nursing homes, hospitals and other health care facilities.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages are mixed at midday with the Nasdaq Composite (+0.3%) and Russell 2000 (+0.3%) holding modest gains, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.3%) and S&P 500 (-0.1%) underperform.
Equity indices opened the midweek session on a strong note after the advance GDP reading pointed to a 4.0% expansion during the second quarter. In addition, a batch of better than expected earnings also factored into the early strength.
Despite those two ... More
More Market News
Should the fast-food chain act as the boss of all workers in franchised stores? The company says no, but organized labor says yes.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'