Though it's true that relatively few large-scale clinical trials testing cell-culture technologies have been conducted, and those that have have turned in mixed results, "If you had to bet, you'd still bet that a Novartis or a Sanofi comes up with a culture-based vaccine that gets approved and has the cost profile to succeed in the market," said one executive at a privately held biotech.
One wants almost always to root for the little guy with the potentially world-changing innovation. But according to some experts, all of this leaves the financial outlook for biotech vaccine developers worse than murky.
"It's hard to see how this works out for these companies long term, I think," said a biotech buy-side analyst. "I don't know what the business model is -- other than putting out a bunch of press releases and hoping there are stories in the New York Times saying how bad the swine flu is going to be."
-- Reported by Scott Eden in New YorkFollow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.