As the global alarm continues to sound about the Zika virus, Sanofi said on Tuesday that it's getting involved. In doing so, it became the first major pharmaceutical company to get involved in the Zika vaccine race, launching a program to develop a jab just after receiving the first regulatory approvals for its dengue shot.
The most recent Ebola outbreak exposed the U.K.'s inadequate ability to respond to an infectious disease epidemic, the country's Commons Science Committee said on Monday. While Ebola did not spread beyond West Africa, the world may not be so lucky next time.
While the European Medicines Agency gave the world's first malaria vaccine a regulatory nod last July, the vaccine isn't perfect, conferring only partial immunity that wanes over time. On Monday, Bill Gates and Chancellor George Osborne, the British finance minister, announced a £3 billion fund ($4.28 billion) to support research and efforts to eradicate malaria.
Almost 7 years after licensing it from Novartis, Takeda picked up a regulatory green light from Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for its Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine. The vaccine, Vaxem Hib, is approved for use in children aged two months to under 5 years.
As the Zika virus continues to grab headlines and its spread threatens, governments and industry are urgently committing resources and analyzing vaccine development options.
Merck's candidate is the furthest along in the quest for an Ebola vaccine, having posted interim Phase III data showing 100% efficacy last July. Now, the Big Pharma has won $5 million from Gavi, the global vaccine alliance, to help see its candidate through late-stage trials, licensure and prequalification by the WHO, and plans to submit the vaccine for regulatory approval by the end of 2017.
Back in October 2014, Profectus BioSciences scored $9.5 million in Department of Defense funding to manufacture its trivalent vaccine to protect against Ebola and Marburg viruses. Now, the Baltimore-based biotech is taking its Ebola candidate to Phase I trials.
Sanofi Pasteur spent 20 years and $1.5 billion researching its dengue fever vaccine, Dengvaxia, and now it's looking to maximize the vaccine's impact. To do that, the French pharma's vaccine division is working with regulators and health officials to identify implementation strategies, program head Guillaume Leroy told FierceVaccines.
Joining a wave of companies racing in the HIV vaccines space, Aelix Therapeutics announced a $12.7 million Series A round this week--and funding from Johnson & Johnson Innovation--to support work on its therapeutic HIV vaccine candidate.
Oxfordshire, U.K.-based Midatech has licensed its gold nanoparticle technology to fellow U.K. biotech Emergex Vaccines in an exclusive deal. Emergex will apply the technology to developing and commercializing vaccines against infectious diseases.