The Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 (VABIOTECH) will acquire rights to Inviragen’s proprietary Japanese encephalitis (JE) technology to produce a cell-derived vaccine from a licensing agreement signed between the two companies. A cell-based JE vaccine has the potential to offer improved manufacturing consistency and safety due to the reduced contaminant, preservatives and unnecessary excipients present compared to the previous generation of animal-derived JE vaccines. Under the terms of the agreement, VABIOTECH may exclusively develop and commercialize JE vaccine based on this technology in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar. In exchange, Inviragen will receive certain development-based milestone payments from VABIOTECH.
“The technology licensed from Inviragen will help advance our JE vaccine production technology,” commented Professor Dr. Nguyen Thu Van, director general of the Company. “In partnership with the Ministry of Health, we have made great strides to control the spread of JE infection in Vietnam. We look forward to incorporating this vaccine technology from Inviragen into our JE program.”
Dr. Dan Stinchcomb, CEO at Inviragen added, “Inviragen is committed to developing vaccines for viral diseases, such as JE, that pose significant health risks worldwide. By partnering with companies such as VABIOTECH that have expertise in vaccine production and a local presence in areas where JE is endemic, our vaccine technology can be put to use where it is most needed.”
“The WHO estimates that there are 68,000 severe clinical cases of JE annually in Asia, causing 10,000 – 15,000 deaths per year. In addition, 30% of the severe infections cause long-lasting neurological damage,” noted Dr. Joseph Santangelo, COO at Inviragen. “VABIOTECH’s experience in vaccine manufacturing and commitment to technological advancement makes them an ideal partner for our JE vaccine technology.”
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