News

Canadian biotech Medicago building $200M vaccine plant

Medicago is building a $200 million manufacturing facility in Quebec City, where it will use plant technology to produce vaccines against Ebola and other viruses.

Genocea's genital herpes vaccine succeeds in PhII

There is no cure for genital herpes, but Genocea is getting closer to marketing an immunotherapy that could control herpes symptoms. The Massachusetts-based company announced Wednesday that it met its goals in a Phase II study of its investigational GEN-003 vaccine.

NIH steps in with $9M Vanderbilt grant after rough season for flu vaccines

After a troublesome flu vaccine season, the NIH has announced that it'll lend a hand to Vanderbilt University as researchers there attempt to develop an improved, "universal" vaccine against the virus.

Zydus Cadila preps for big splash into India's vaccines market

With ambitious plans for the next year, Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila's coming launches could alter the vaccines landscape in India and challenge established players there.

Takeda, Daiichi Sankyo ink flu vaccine distribution pacts with Japan's Kaketsuken

Pointing to a growing demand for seasonal flu vaccines in Japan, Takeda has signed on with the Chemo-Sero Therapeutic Research Institute (Kaketsuken) to sell one of the institute's seasonal shots while it continues distribution of another.

U.K.'s PsiOxus scores $39M for colorectal cancer vaccine combo trial

Oxford-based PsiOxus closed a Series C financing round, scoring £25 million ($39 million) to advance its lead candidate, enadenotucirev, an oncolytic virus aimed at fighting colorectal tumors. The funding came from GlaxoSmithKline's VC unit and U.K. heavyweight investor Neil Woodford's new $1.2 billion fund.

NewLink continues cancer vaccine Ph III trial with interim data under wraps

Without convincing data to prove a win for NewLink Genetics' late-stage cancer vaccine, it will go full steam ahead on its Phase III trial, the company announced Monday. The IMPRESS trial for algenpantucel-L--or HyperAcute pancreas--will continue with no changes following the second planned interim analysis for the trial.

BiondVax rounds up $9.5M in IPO

BiondVax raised $9.5 million in a Nasdaq IPO, pricing 1,910,000 shares at $5.01 each. The Israel-based company is working on a universal flu vaccine to protect against all strains of the virus, including seasonal strains and pandemics.

Nima Farzan takes over as PaxVax CEO

Nima Farzan, who previously served as chief operating officer, will take the helm as CEO of PaxVax, the company announced Monday. Ken Kelley, co-founder and former CEO, will remain on the board of directors and will serve as an advanced leadership initiative fellow at Harvard University.

Bavarian Nordic smallpox vaccine scores two late-stage trial wins

The threat of a smallpox outbreak is an ongoing concern that's helped Bavarian Nordic pay its bills through the years. With an announcement Wednesday trumpeting two successful late-stage tests, the company has reason to believe it can advance its business with smallpox vaccine Imvamune.

Ebola news: GSK, Emergent start Phase I trial; Bavarian Nordic scores €50M for vaccine development

In a big week for Ebola vaccines, Emergent Biosciences and GlaxoSmithKline have begun a Phase I trial of their candidates, while Bavarian Nordic received €50 million ($56 million) in loans from the European Investment Bank that go in part toward its programs in Ebola and infectious diseases.

NIH-backed West Nile candidate enters PhI trials at Duke

Despite years of efforts from academia and the industry, including Merck, no FDA-approved West Nile virus vaccine exists. Scientists from Oregon Health & Science University are looking to change that.

GSK's vaccine operating profit, margin dive on Novartis fold-in

GlaxoSmithKline will have some questions to answer this week after reporting its first quarterly results with Novartis' former vaccines stable. The company's vaccines unit saw its operating profit plummet and operating margin decline after folding in the Swiss drugmaker's business.

Three universities using $1.55M NIH grant to track vaccine attitudes via Twitter

Researchers from the University of Georgia, George Washington University and Johns Hopkins University received a 5-year, $1.55 million grant from the NIH's National Institute of General medical Sciences to use Twitter to study why people refuse vaccines.

Themis rounds up new cash for Chikungunya jab's PhII

After the first closing of a Series B round Wednesday, Themis Bioscience will have an infusion of €7 million ($7.9 million) to work with as it ushers its Chikungunya fever vaccine into Phase II and welcomes a new chairman and two new board members.

UPDATED: Analyst: Genocea's genital herpes vaccine better positioned than Agenus' to enter market

Genocea Biosciences' GEN-003 vaccine is well-positioned to compete in the genital herpes treatment market. It's in a better position, in fact, than Agenus' HerpV, according to a GlobalData analyst.

Sanofi promises 7% vax sales growth for 2015, despite rocky Q1

Sanofi says it's poised to repeat the 7% growth its vaccines unit saw last year. But after battling through a slow quarter of influenza vaccine sales, it'll have some catching up to do during the remainder of the year if it wants to make that happen.

City of Hope, Fortress Biotech form new company to ward off CMV

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) presents no symptoms in most healthy people, but it can be life-threatening in people with weakened or underdeveloped immune systems. So City of Hope and Fortress Biotech have joined the race to produce vaccines to control CMV infections.

As California measles cases mounted, so did Merck measles vaccine sales

The California measles outbreak may have just given new meaning to the phrase "scaring up some business." As news of the outbreak spread, health officials urged parents to vaccinate their children. And as more and more cases were reported--escalating from 7 cases to more than 100 in just one month--sales of Merck's M-M-R II vaccine shot up too,

Amgen wins FDA panel nod for T-Vec in melanoma

FDA staffers had their doubts this week heading into an advisory committee meeting on Amgen's dual-acting cancer vaccine/viral therapy, talimogene laherparepvec (T-Vec). But Wednesday afternoon, a combined FDA advisory panel voted overwhelmingly in favor of the candidate.