EXTON, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Nuron Biotech Inc., a specialty biologics and vaccines company, today announced it has acquired from Pfizer Inc. Meningitec™, which is a vaccine for the prevention of invasive disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C. Meningitec is a preservative free vaccine, which is registered in 23 countries throughout the world. N. meningitidis is a major cause of infectious disease worldwide, with a majority of cases occurring in children, and can lead to meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia. Without treatment, mortality is up to 90 percent1, and death may occur within 48 hours. Nuron Biotech will work closely with Pfizer to ensure a seamless transition and to continue the ready availability of Meningitec to patients.
“Meningitec is a tremendous opportunity to expand Nuron Biotech’s portfolio with a commercially successful vaccine with an established market,” said Shankar Musunuri, Ph.D., MBA, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Nuron Biotech. “The addition of Meningitec represents an important milestone toward bringing innovative biologics and vaccines to patients with unmet needs around the world. Vaccines such as Meningitec and HibTITER have established track records in the prevention of infectious disease, and we are excited to see such high quality life-saving products in our portfolio.”
“We are planning to expand into markets with unvaccinated and under-vaccinated populations, helping us address public health needs around the world,” said Richard C. Dinovitz, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development at Nuron Biotech. “Meningitec is a proven, life-saving, preventative vaccine. In the early 2000s, Meningitec played a pioneering role in reducing disease caused by N. meningitidis serogroup C by 93 percentin children in the U.K.”2
About Neisseria Meningitidis
Neisseria meningitidis is a major cause of global invasive bacterial disease, including meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia. The bacteria live asymptomatically in the nasopharynx in approximately 10 to 25 percent of the population and may enter the bloodstream through the nose and throat, potentially affecting multiple areas throughout the body. N. meningitidis is estimated to cause 500,000 cases of disease annually worldwide with a 10 to 20 percent fatality rate. Without treatment, the mortality rate can reach a staggering 90 percent1, and death may result within 24 to 48 hours. Up to 19 percent of survivors suffer from hearing loss, brain damage, renal failure or limb amputations.
N. meningitidis has been identified as having 12 serogroups, or bacterial types sharing common antigens. Five serogroups are responsible for most disease worldwide and have the potential to instigate epidemics. Geographic distribution and epidemic potential are largely determined by the serogroup of the bacteria. Meningococcal Serogroup C, in particular, is a major cause of endemic disease in Europe and the Americas, and numerous outbreaks have occurred in both schools and communities.
Meningitec™ (Meningococcal Serogroup C Conjugate Vaccine) is a preservative free vaccine, which is delivered in ready-to-use pre-filled syringes for intramuscular injection for the prevention of invasive disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C. Over 50 million doses of Meningitec have been distributed since launch, and it is registered in 23 countries, including France, Germany, Spain, Greece and Australia.
Throughout the early 1990s, the incidence of serogroup C infection rose dramatically in the United Kingdom, from 2.3 per 100,000 in 1993/94 to 4.6 per 100,000 in 1996/97 leading authorities to implement measures to bring a vaccine against the disease to the population. Meningitec, along with other vaccines against N. meningitidis, pioneered a 93 percent reduction in annual cases between 1998/99 and 2003/04.2
About Nuron Biotech
Nuron Biotech is developing novel biologics and vaccines for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative and infectious diseases. Its team of industry veterans is committed to advancing products that meet unmet medical needs for patients around the globe. Nuron Biotech’s lead drug candidate, NU100 (interferon beta-1b), is a new chemical entity currently in Phase 3 for patients with multiple sclerosis. www.nuronbiotech.com
1Stephens, et al. Lancet. (2007) 369, 2196-2210.
2Gray, et al. J Med Microbiol. (2006) 55, 887-896.
Richard C. Dinovitz, 610-968-6704
Vice President, Marketing and Business Development
MacDougall Biomedical Communications
Charles Liles, 781-235-3060
Christine Labaree, 650-339-7533