HANOI, Vietnam & FORT COLLINS, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 (VABIOTECH) and Inviragen, Inc. today announced a licensing agreement by which VABIOTECH will acquire rights to Inviragen’s proprietary Japanese encephalitis (JE) technology to produce a cell-derived vaccine. 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.”
The Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 (VABIOTECH) was established as a State-owned Company by the Minister of Health in 2000. In 2007, VABIOTECH was spun off from the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and became an independent company under the Ministry of Health of Vietnam. The company focuses on manufacturing and trading vaccines and biological products for human use. VABIOTECH also develops new vaccines and biological products, including diagnostic kits and prophylaxis treatment products, pharmaceuticals and healthcare services. Some of the product offerings include a recombinant hepatitis B vaccine, hepatitis A vaccine, oral cholera vaccine and Japanese encephalitis vaccine. These vaccines are supplied annually for use in the Expanded Program on Immunization and for domestic needs. For more information, please visit www.vabiotechvn.com.
About Inviragen, Inc.
Inviragen is focused on developing vaccines to protect against infectious diseases worldwide. Inviragen’s vaccine to protect against dengue fever is in Phase 2 clinical testing. A vaccine designed to protect children from hand, foot and mouth disease has completed Phase 1 clinical testing. Vaccines to protect against chikungunya and Japanese encephalitis, which affect millions of individuals in Asia, are in development. Vaccines in preclinical research stages include a second generation human papilloma virus vaccine, vaccines to protect against new forms of influenza and a combination plague/smallpox vaccine for biodefense. Founded in 2005 with offices in Colorado, Wisconsin and Singapore, Inviragen’s investors include Charter Life Sciences (Palo Alto, CA), Venture Investors (Madison, WI), Bio*One Capital Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) and Phillip Private Equity (Singapore). See www.inviragen.com for more details.