Batavia Biosciences Partners with IAVI to Advance Development of Vaccine Against Lassa FeverWednesday, December 12, 2018
With this grant, Batavia Biosciences will leverage its novel, highly intensified manufacturing technology to develop a low-cost, easy-to-implement manufacturing process. This process can facilitate rapid clinical development and establishment of a stockpile of an innovative new Lassa fever vaccine, which is based on the Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) vector system.
This partnership is Batavia Biosciences’ latest contribution to global health initiatives with its extensive biopharmaceutical development know-how and technologies to bring safe, new and improved medicines to the market as quickly as possible.
Lassa fever, also known as Lassa hemorrhagic fever, is endemic in West Africa and can spread from person to person via contact with bodily fluids. The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans mainly through handling rats, food or household items contaminated by rats’ urine. It causes a range of symptoms including vomiting, fever and bleeding. An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 Lassa fever cases are diagnosed annually, resulting in approximately 5,000 deaths. Despite this high morbidity and mortality, no vaccine for Lassa fever is currently available.
Lassa fever devastates lives and has far-reaching economic consequences. Vaccines are a vital part of the fight against them but their development is costly, complex and challenging.
Batavia Biosciences’ COO Dr Chris Yallop states: “It is an honor that IAVI has appointed Batavia Biosciences to partner in the development of such an innovative and potentially transformative vaccine production model.”
Batavia Biosciences’ CEO Dr Menzo Havenga concludes: “This partnership with IAVI is a further validation of our viral vector technology, and provides us with an opportunity to further develop a new global health solution on top of our contributions to the polio vaccine, rotavirus vaccine and novel biomanufacturing platforms all aiming at making biopharmaceuticals available and affordable to all.”
About Batavia Biosciences
Batavia Biosciences significantly contributes to ease human suffering from infectious diseases by improving the success rate in the translation of candidate medicines from discovery to the clinic. We offer our novel technologies and in-depth know-how in order to help our partners to complete preclinical phases in biopharmaceutical product development at higher speed, reduced costs and increased success. The company focuses on the early stages of product development including cell line generation, upstream process development (mammalian & microbial), purification development, product characterization and clinical manufacturing. Headquartered in Leiden, the Netherlands, with a subsidiary in Woburn, Massachusetts, and offices in Hong Kong, Batavia Biosciences is privileged to have strong strategic partners worldwide.
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is a nonprofit scientific organization whose mission is to develop vaccines and other biomedical innovations that prevent HIV infection. Since its founding in 1996, IAVI has provided scientific, research and development, and policy leadership to address the needs of communities and key populations at risk for HIV infection around the world. IAVI works with more than 100 academic, industry, government, civil society, clinical, and community partners in more than 25 countries. IAVI is committed to supporting the broad field of HIV vaccine research and to fostering collaborations that accelerate the development and availability of new prevention tools. In pursuit of our goals, we work to catalyze and support novel partnership models that engage partners from both the public and private sectors across the product development continuum.
IAVI's global reach, including its clinical research network in five countries in sub-Saharan Africa and in India, has allowed IAVI to make fundamental contributions to understanding of the epidemiology, transmission, natural history, virology, and immunology of HIV infection. This work played a key role in facilitating the structure-based design of promising HIV vaccine candidates as well as the discovery of "broadly neutralizing antibodies" that are now being advanced as promising approaches for HIV prevention. IAVI's integrated capabilities in vaccine discovery, development, and clinical research take advantage of biopharmaceutical industry expertise to accelerate the development and testing of novel HIV vaccine candidates.
In addition to its core HIV vaccine effort, IAVI is working to amplify its global health impact by working with partners to address other urgent unmet public health needs – such as vaccines for other infectious diseases – where our existing technologies, assets, and experience can add unique value.