Beijing Zhifei Lvzhu Biopharmaceutical Co. Ltd. has picked up rights to a whooping cough vaccine candidate from Intravacc B.V. on undisclosed terms. Zhifei Lvzhu gained exclusive rights to develop and commercialize the vaccine in China, as well as nonexclusive rights in Africa, South America, and selected Asian countries. In turn, Intravacc is eligible to receive milestone and up-front payments plus royalties on net sales of the vaccine, should it reach market.
For the first time since the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, global deaths caused by the disease have fallen to their lowest point, as immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants continues to build. Infections and deaths appear to be decelerating, an optimistic sign that the pandemic may be nearing an end.
Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. reported that ARCT-154, its self-amplifying mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, showed efficacy of 55% against infection and 95% efficacy against severe disease, meeting the primary and key secondary endpoints of the ongoing phase I/II/III trial. While the company’s stock (NASDAQ:ARCT) regained much of its initial 25% drop to close the day, investors continue to await further data to determine where Arcturus’ vaccine will fit in with available COVID-19 vaccines.
NEC Corp. subsidiary NEC Oncoimmunity AS recently received $4.8 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to fund the development of vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 variants and other betacoronaviruses.
Jiangsu Recbio Technology Co. Ltd. raised HK$765 million ($97.7 million) in a Hong Kong stock exchange IPO on March 31. Shares of the vaccine maker (HKEX: 2179) opened at HK$25 per share and rose 1.8% to close at HK25.25 apiece. The Jiangsu, China-based company plans to use about half the proceeds, or HK$317.9 million, to support development and commercialization of its HPV vaccines, including its lead asset, a phase III recombinant HPV 9-valent vaccine REC-603, a spokesperson told BioWorld. The company also plans to set up an HPV manufacturing facility in Taizhou, China.
Nuance Pharma Co. Ltd. signed a licensing deal with Denmark’s Bavarian Nordic A/S for rights to its MVA-BN RSV vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, South Korea and certain Southeast Asian countries.
The Drugs Controller General of India has granted Novavax Inc. and the Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. emergency use authorization (EUA) for Novavax’s protein-based COVID-19 vaccine. It was authorized for use in adolescents aged 12 to 18 years. The vaccine will be manufactured and marketed in India by the Serum Institute under the brand name Covovax.