UK based vaccine company Acambis has announced the signing of an exclusive collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, for their ChimeriVax West Nile vaccine.
|There is currently no human vaccine for prevention and no specific treatment for West Nile virus-related disease|
Under the terms of the agreement, Acambis will receive an upfront payment of $10 million in 2007 and would be eligible for pre- and post-marketing milestone payments of up to $70m based on product approval and sales in the US market.
Ian Garland, Chief Executive Officer of Acambis, said: “Having entered into this unique collaboration with one of the world’s leading vaccine companies, we intend to be the first to bring a West Nile virus vaccine to market. Acambis will conduct the vaccine development, further validating our competence and capabilities in clinical development and vaccine manufacture. This contract is an important step in executing on our financing strategy for the company.”
There is currently no human vaccine for prevention and no specific treatment for West Nile virus-related disease, which is now considered endemic in North America. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified those aged 50 and above as being most at risk of severe West Nile virus-related disease. In the US, this population totals more than 87 million people. As of 6th November 2007, 3,265 cases of West Nile disease and 92 deaths have been recorded by the CDC in 42 US States this year.
Acambis is currently conducting a Phase 2 trial of ChimeriVax – West Nile in adults aged 41-64 years and 65 years and above. Preliminary data from a previous Phase 2 dose-ranging trial in healthy adults have shown that over 98% of subjects seroconverted 28 days after a single vaccination.
Wayne Pisano, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi Pasteur, said: “Providing a vaccine against West Nile disease may now be within reach. This candidate vaccine is the most promising in the industry and would help meet a growing public health need.”