"Berna Drops Nasalflu Spray Linked to Facial Paralysis"
Bloomberg Online (www.bloomberg.com) (06/06/02); Pfenniger,

Switzerland's Berna Biotech announced that it has ended its
development of Nasalflu, an experimental inhaled influenza
vaccine that has been linked with Bell's palsy, an illness that
causes temporary facial paralysis.  The company will halt its
trial of some 11,000 patients after reviewing data collected from
4,000 of them, a move that is a tremendous blow to the firm.  Not
only will Berna miss out on continued development aid from
Aventis, its partner in the Nasalflu venture, but Berna had
billed itself as the company developing Nasalflu, so it will have
to revamp its marketing strategies as well.  Berna shares fell 16
percent to 24.4 Swiss francs, its biggest drop since listing
publicly in June 2001, though its profit will not be impacted for
2002 because sales of the vaccine were small.