CRANBURY, N.J. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- A license agreement for the manufacture and sale of VaxInnate Corporation’s recombinant flu vaccine by Emergent BioSolutions is a step toward helping the United States be better prepared in the event of an influenza pandemic. VaxInnate is a biotechnology firm pioneering breakthrough technology for the development of novel vaccines.
Under the terms of the license agreement, VaxInnate grants Emergent the right to manufacture and sell VaxInnate’s pandemic recombinant flu vaccine in the U.S. Emergent will produce VaxInnate’s novel vaccine under a contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), designating Emergent as a Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing.
VaxInnate will receive milestone payments and royalties associated with the development, production and sale of the pandemic flu vaccine.
VaxInnate’s own 2011 contract with BARDA, which funds the company’s use of recombinant technology to develop pandemic and seasonal flu vaccines, is valued at up to $196 million over five years. The selection of VaxInnate by BARDA was based on the company’s ability to harness recombinant technology to produce vaccines that are highly efficient, well-characterized biopharmaceutical proteins.
These vaccines can be produced cost-effectively and rapidly -- in less than half the time of current vaccine manufacturing technology -- making them potent weapons for preventing the spread of influenza.
“Past flu pandemics underscored the need for new vaccines that can be produced rapidly and in large quantities in order to protect the American people,” said Wayne Pisano, VaxInnate’s President and CEO. “This agreement combines the innovative flu vaccine being developed by VaxInnate with the manufacturing expertise of Emergent.
“We’re pleased to expand our partnership with BARDA and to begin a new one with Emergent,” Pisano added. “Together we can make significant progress in preparing the U.S. for the next pandemic flu.”
An influenza pandemic is an epidemic of an influenza virus that spreads on a worldwide scale and infects a large proportion of the human population. In contrast to the annual seasonal flu, pandemics occur irregularly and range in severity.
The first influenza epidemic of the 21st Century occurred in 2009-2010 and involved a new subtype of Influenza A virus subtype H1N1, or swine flu. It affected nearly 200 countries, caused a half million illnesses and killed 6,000 persons. Other flu pandemics occurred in 1957-1958, 1968-1969 and 1977-1978.
The most serious influenza pandemic in recent history occurred in 1918-1919, during the closing days of World War I, and killed an estimated 20 to 50 million people worldwide. Today, considering a world population that has more than tripled to 6 billion people and air travel to every corner of the globe, experts say that the toll of a pandemic flu could be as high as 100 million people and have a profound impact on the world economy.
VaxInnate is a privately-held biotechnology company in Cranbury, NJ that is pioneering breakthrough technology for use in developing novel and proprietary vaccines. VaxInnate’s vaccines focus on infectious diseases, including seasonal and pandemic flu, dengue, malaria, and Clostridium difficile. VaxInnate’s technology has the potential to dramatically improve the potency, manufacturing capacity and cost-effectiveness of vaccines.
In 2011, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), awarded a contract to VaxInnate worth up to $196 million over five years to fund the development of seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines using recombinant technology.
VaxInnate has already generated positive Phase I and Phase II clinical data for its flu vaccines. These prototype seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines were also demonstrated to have superior potency in elderly subjects. For more information about VaxInnate, please visit http://www.vaxinnate.com