Nuron acquires Pfizer's meningitis vaccine

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Startup Nuron Biotech acquired from Pfizer ($PFE) a vaccine to protect against meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia for an undisclosed amount.

Meningitec, registered in 23 countries worldwide, will help the Exton, PA-based biotech expand into new markets and battle Neisseria meningitides. The bacteria are transmitted person-to-person through droplets of saliva. The illness can cause severe brain damage and, in 50% of cases, death, according to the World Health Organization.

"Meningitec is a tremendous opportunity to expand Nuron Biotech's portfolio with a commercially successful vaccine with an established market," Shankar Musunuri, CEO and founder of Nuron Biotech, said in a statement. "The addition of Meningitec represents an important milestone toward bringing innovative biologics and vaccines to patients with unmet needs around the world."

Nuron has spent the past few years working to expand its portfolio of vaccines through acquisitions and licensing agreements. In January, the company licensed its HibTITER vaccine to Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, an agreement that will earn Nuron significant royalties on commercial sales in Japan.

The startup purchased the Hib vaccine from Pfizer's Wyeth unit in 2011. The FDA previously approved the shot to reduce the incidence of Hib disease in children, but Wyeth put the brakes on sales several years ago after the company reassessed its portfolio.

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