Brazil officials signed off this week on funding for a late-stage dengue vaccine trial, adding another twist to the global dengue vaccine competition amid the launch of the first approved jab.
Scientists have created the first 3-D "map" of a protein used by malaria parasites to invade human blood cells. This could lead to the development of a vaccine that could attack the most widespread species of the parasite.
With flu season in full swing, Mitsubishi Tanabe has its eyes on the horizon as it aims to get its quick-to-produce, tobacco-based flu vaccine on the market by 2018 or 2019. Nikkei Asian Review reported on Tuesday that the Osaka-based company has "all but finished" safety and efficacy trials of the vaccine in the U.S. and Canada and plans to run late-stage trials by the end of the year.
While it doesn't yet market any products, Inovio continues to be the Zika vaccine front-runner, reporting that its experimental jab induced a "robust and durable" immune response in mice.
Sanofi's Dengvaxia is set for a wide rollout in the Philippines, making the endemic nation the first to implement an immunization campaign utilizing the dengue fever vaccine.
Merck, GlaxoSmithKline and public health officials in the United States have some big new numbers to tout to promote HPV vaccination. On Monday, a group of federal researchers said that since the introduction of Gardasil in 2006, HPV infection rates in teenage girls have fallen by nearly two-thirds.
Three months after teaming up with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Inovio and GeneOne are kicking off Phase I trials of its MERS vaccine. The biotechs joined forces with Walter Reed in November to conduct Phase I trials, citing the disease as an "emergent global health concern." MERS has killed nearly 600 and infected 1,650 people since it emerged in 2012.
A review of superbugs by the British government says that vaccines may play a role in combating the public health threat. More vaccinations would reduce infections, the report states, and in turn the need for widespread antibiotic use which promotes superbug development.
Sanofi is moving into 2016 with a head of steam for its Dengvaxia launch, with execs announcing on the company's year-end conference call that the French pharma has delivered its first million doses in the Philippines.
Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova announced that an Ebola vaccine developed in that country did well in Phase I and II trials, and will enter further testing in Guinea, Agence France-Presse reported.
Zika developments continued at an accelerated pace this week with the WHO saying that India's Bharat Biotech and the U.S. National Institutes of Health are farthest along in vaccine development.
GlaxoSmithKline signs two new vaccine R&D partnerships
GlaxoSmithKline's flu vaccines, Fluarix and FluLaval, are both egg-based and can take months to produce each year. Now, the company has signed a pair of research deals, one of which would allow it to make cell-based vaccines, which are more efficient to manufacture.
Bavarian Nordic has agreed to partner with Evaxion Biotech to develop a vaccine against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
As the Zika virus continues to spread, more biotechs are announcing their Zika vaccine programs. Meriden, CT-based Protein Sciences, Atlanta-based GeoVax Labs and Redwood City, CA-based PaxVax are the latest. PaxVax plans to bring its candidate to animal trials during the first half of this year, CEO Nima Farzan told FierceVaccines.
In the midst of a reshaping, Sanofi has identified its vaccines outfit, Sanofi Pasteur, as a core unit to the company's future. And despite the challenges impacting the company at the corporate level, the vaccines unit had some bright spots to talk up in reporting Q4 and 2015 results.
Thanks to flailing pharma revenues and its decision to ship away its oncology assets, GlaxoSmithKline has a lot riding on vaccines. And in 2015, the unit delivered with 19% revenue growth, although profit and operating margin both fell.
Cambridge, MA-based Affinivax launched in November 2014 with a $4 million Gates Foundation investment and plans to develop a pneumococcal vaccine that it believes could go beyond Prevnar, the best-selling vaccine in the world. Now, the biotech is announcing $2.5 million in follow-on funding from the Gates Foundation, which it will use to advance its lead candidate, CEO Steve Brugger told FierceVaccines.
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered a new drug that could help in vaccine development. It activates the innate immune system in a novel way.
All 69 of the United States' National Cancer Institute-designated centers have joined together to issue a statement urging an increase in HPV vaccinations, declaring the vaccines "tragically underused" and calling low uptake a "public health threat."
While the early entrants to the race for a Zika vaccine have been on the smaller side--think Hawaii Biotech, NewLink Genetics and Inovio Pharmaceuticals--the big guns are now joining in. Just one day after Sanofi announced a firm plan to develop a vaccine for the mosquito-borne disease, a parade of Big Pharmas has joined GlaxoSmithKline in "evaluating their technologies" for the potential of developing a Zika vaccine.