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Novartis enters developing nations vaccines partnership

Will work with Biological E to deliver vaccines for typhoid and paratyphoid A fevers

Novartis is to work with India-based biopharma Biological E (BioE) to deliver vaccines to protect against typhoid and paratyphoid fevers in developing nations.

The partners will work on two vaccines that will be developed through the Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health (NVGH), with work on a typhoid vaccine supported by Italy's Sclavo Vaccines Association while a dual-acting vaccine to protect against both typhoid and paratyphoid fevers will receive support from the UK's Wellcome Trust.

Both conditions are life-threatening infections that remain major public health problems in many parts of the world where the population lacks access to clean water and proper sanitation.

There are estimated to be 21 million cases of typhoid a year, including more than 200,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), while there are thought to be about five million cases of paratyphoid fever.

As with most bacterial infections across the world, resistance to antibiotic drugs is an increasing concern, and new vaccines will be warmly welcomed by countries with public health programmes to tackle the conditions.

The typhoid vaccine involved in the deal is called Vi-CRM197, and has already completed successful phase II trials.

Its development will now be handled by BioE, which will also have responsibility for manufacturing and distributing the vaccine.

"BioE has a proven track record in vaccine manufacture, and capabilities to clinically develop and deliver WHO pre-qualified affordable vaccines to the developing world,” explained Don Ganem, VP and global head of infectious diseases, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.

The combined typhoid-paratyphoid vaccine will be transferred to BioE once Novartis has completed early, small-scale studies in humans to determine safety and immunogenicity.

Once transferred, the Wellcome Trust will continue to support the development of the dual-acting vaccine through a Strategic Award that was awarded in 2009.

“This licensing deal takes us a step closer to getting much-needed affordable vaccines into the communities that need them most,” said Ted Bianco, director of technology transfer and acting director of the Wellcome Trust.

The agreement is worldwide except for developed countries, where Novartis will retain rights.

8th July 2013

From: Research, Healthcare

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