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Four-strain AstraZeneca flu vaccine wins EU green light

LONDON (Reuters) - A new four-in-one flu vaccine from AstraZeneca has been recommended for approval in Europe, boosting commercial prospects for the next-generation product.

Following Friday's green light from the European Medicines Agency, AstraZeneca said it aimed to replace its current three-strain Fluenz vaccine with quadrivalent Fluenz Tetra from the 2014/15 flu season - assuming the agency's opinion is endorsed by the European Commission.

Unlike traditional injections, AstraZeneca's vaccine is sprayed into the nose. It has been recommended in Europe for preventing seasonal influenza in children.

Quadrivalent flu vaccines - which also include injectable versions from Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline - are expected to boost vaccine manufacturers' revenues in the coming years.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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