Aviron rolled the dice last week but failed to win an FDA panel endorsement for its FluMist intranasal influenza vaccine in time for the 2001 flu season.

But even though the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee decided on Friday that the company failed to demonstrate that FluMist is safe, the two-day meeting was far from a complete loss. The committee enthusiastically embraced FluMist's efficacy and suggested that a complete evaluation of data that has already been collected may be sufficient to confirm that the vaccine is safe.