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.
After a monster year, the "low-hanging fruit" is gone for Pfizer's Prevnar 13 as the company looks to penetrate the adult market in the U.S. But fear not, investors, execs said Tuesday--there's plenty left in Europe.
Pfizer came through a hectic fourth quarter with a major deal pending and at work on integrating an earlier one while at the same time trying to identify niches for both in emerging markets and particularly China.
Médecins Sans Frontières, a global charity and frequent pharma critic, has initiated a worldwide petition calling for Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline to reduce the prices of their pneumonia vaccines to $5 per child--for all three doses--in emerging markets and for humanitarian organizations.
Pfizer knows adults generally don't think they're at risk for pneumococcal pneumonia. So to get them to listen up about pneumonia-blocker Prevnar 13, it linked the disease to those they do take seriously.
In South Africa, 40% of the national budget for vaccines is used to import Pfizer's Prevenar 13, according to Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor. To ease this burden, Pfizer and South Africa's Biovac Institute are entering a 5-year partnership to produce the vaccine domestically, Reuters reported.
After a strong first half, Pfizer's vaccine unit didn't let up in the third quarter, continuing on an upward trajectory as growing Prevnar 13 sales continued to propel the unit forward.
Last quarter, vaccine giant Prevnar 13 and breast-cancer newcomer Ibrance outperformed expectations, helping Pfizer trump analyst estimates. And in Q3, they delivered repeat performances.
For the second quarter, Pfizer gave the good news about continued strong Prevnar 13 sales in the U.S. But outside of a mention of possible approval in Japan in 2017, the company gave no update abroad and more importantly on China, where in April it halted vaccine operations following failure to get a license renewal for its existing Prevnar shot as Prevnar 13 also awaits approval.
The world's biggest vaccine by sales--Prevnar 13--just keeps getting bigger. And in doing so, the shot helped Pfizer notch 44% vaccines growth for the second quarter as the unit saw sales grow from $1.09 billion in last year's Q2 to $1.58 billion during the period this year.