Shareholder Class Action Filed Against Chiron Corporation By The Law Firm Of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP -- CHIR

Radnor, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES

BALA CYNWYD, Pa., Nov. 12, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- The following statement was issued today by the law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP:

Notice is hereby given that a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of all securities purchasers of Chiron Corporation (Nasdaq:CHIR) ("Chiron" or the "Company") from January 12, 2004 through October 13, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP (Marc A. Topaz, Esq. or Darren J. Check, Esq.) toll free at 1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706, or via e-mail at

The complaint charges Chiron, Howard Pien, John Lambert, and David Smith with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. Chiron is a global pharmaceutical company focused on developing products for cancer and infectious diseases. It commercializes its products through three business units: blood testing, vaccines and biopharmaceuticals. Chiron Vaccines offers more than 30 vaccines including flu, meningococcal, travel and pediatric vaccines. According to the complaint, the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented the following material adverse facts which were known to defendants or recklessly disregarded by them: (1) that equipment and staff training at the Company's Liverpool plant were inadequate; (2) that the Company's vaccine manufacturing process was wrought with microbial and sterility issues; (3) that the Company's Liverpool plant had systemic quality-control issues which the Company failed to address in a timely manner; (4) that the Company's Liverpool plant was not in compliance with British health and safety regulations; and (5) that as a result of the above, the defendants' statements about being able to supply 50 million vaccines to the United States was lacking in a reasonable basis when made.

On August 26, 2004, Chiron announced the following bombshell: that, in conducting final internal release procedures for its Fluvirin(R) influenza virus vaccine, the company's quality systems have identified a small number of lots that do not meet product sterility specifications. Following this announcement, defendant Pien reiterated Chiron's expectation that Chiron would supply between 46 million and 48 million Fluvirin(R) influenza virus vaccine doses to the U.S. market for the 2004-2005 influenza season, beginning in early October. Then on October 5, 2004, Chiron shocked the market when it announced "that the UK regulatory body, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency ("MHRA"), has today temporarily suspended the company's license to manufacture Fluvirin(R) influenza virus vaccine in its Liverpool facility, preventing the company from releasing any of the product during the 2004-2005 influenza season. Chiron has not released any Fluvirin into any territory, and therefore there is no requirement to recall or withdraw any vaccine."

Following this revelation, shares of Chiron fell $7.44 per share, or 16,38 percent, to close at $37.98 per share on unusually high trading volume.

Thereafter, on October 11, 2004, The Wall Street Journal reported U.S. regulators found "deviations" from good manufacturing standards at Chiron's U.K.-based flu-vaccine plant in June 2003. According the article, the Food and Drug Administration officials documented "deviations" from best practices at Chiron's Liverpool plant in the middle of last year, John Taylor, the FDA's associate commissioner for regulatory affairs, told the Journal. The regulator said that "systemic quality-control issues" led inspectors to conclude that Chiron wouldn't necessarily be able to discover problems, identify the root cause and take steps to prevent similar issues from arising again.

Then on October 12, 2004, Chiron stated it had received a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York, seeking documents related to the U.K. authorities' decision to shut down the manufacturing of its flu vaccine Fluvirin.

The final blow to the Company occurred on October 13, 2004. At about 12:00 noon, The Wall Street Journal reported that the SEC was launching an informal probe into whether Chiron failed to properly alert investors to on-going problems with British regulators. The Company later confirmed that this was in fact true.

News of this sent the stock further down. Shares of Chiron fell $1.87 per share, or 5.54 percent, on unusually heavy trading volume on October 13, 2004 to close at $31.87 per share.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of class members and is represented by the law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, which prosecutes class actions in both state and federal courts throughout the country. Schiffrin & Barroway is a driving force behind corporate governance reform, and has recovered in excess of a billion dollars on behalf of institutional and high net worth individual investors. For more information about Schiffrin & Barroway, or to sign up to participate in this action online, please visit

If you are a member of the class described above, you may, not later than December 13, 2004 move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff of the class, if you so choose. A lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed lead plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member's claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class. Under certain circumstances, one or more class members may together serve as "lead plaintiff." Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff. You may retain Schiffrin & Barroway, or other counsel of your choice, to serve as your counsel in this action.

More information on this and other class actions can be found on the Class Action Newsline at


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