The race for an Ebola vaccine has slowed to a crawl as Big Pharmas GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Johnson & Johnson struggle to find volunteers who are exposed to enough disease to show whether experimental vaccines actually protect against Ebola infection.
It's been three years since the deadly MERS virus first surfaced in humans, and though it has taken more than 460 lives, for Big Pharma, the economics of a vaccine just aren't there yet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
In a Phase III trial involving 15,000 children in Africa, early results showed that children who received three doses of GlaxoSmithKline's candidate malaria vaccine were half as likely to contract malaria infection in the year after vaccination. But results reported Friday in The Lancet showed a significant decline in the level of protection after four years.
PaxVax's typhoid vaccine, Vivotif, is licensed for sale in 27 countries. But the Redwood, CA-based company is looking to expand its presence, announcing on Wednesday a series of commercial partnerships and distribution agreements to ensure availability of Vivotif in Australia and Europe.
The need for cold-chain transportation has been a prominent barrier in making vaccines available to developing countries. A consortium led by Mymetics' Dutch subsidiary has just received €8.4 million to change that.