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March 19, 2018

Bavarian Nordic to develop vaccine for equine encephalitis

Bavarian Nordic and the US Department of Defense (DoD) have partnered to develop a new prophylactic vaccine for a rare mosquito-borne illness caused by the equine encephalitis virus.

Bavarian Nordic and the US Department of Defense (DoD) have partnered to develop a new prophylactic vaccine for a rare mosquito-borne illness caused by the equine encephalitis virus.

Under the multi-year deal, the DoD will provide funding of about $36m, while Bavarian Nordic will use its MVA-BN platform to formulate a new product that will target different strains of the virus that currently lack preventive therapies.

In preclinical models, an MVA-BN-based vaccine candidate is reported to have demonstrated a positive efficacy profile against three separate equine encephalitis viruses, namely Eastern (EEEV), Venezuelan (VEEV), and Western (WEEV).

The partners plan to conduct additional preclinical studies to aid clinical development, GMP production, and safety and immunogenicity testing in humans.

“This type of collaboration further validates our model for preparedness, which could prove useful in the years to come for this, and potentially other rare and tropical diseases.”

Bavarian Nordic expects that clinical proof-of-concept data will enable further development of the vaccine candidate with potential follow-on financial support for obtaining FDA licensure and production.

Bavarian Nordic president and CEO Paul Chaplin said: “We are very proud of this alliance which represents yet another public/private engagement between Bavarian Nordic and the US Government, and provides the DoD with the first in what could become a ‘library’ of safe, clinically validated vaccines that are readily accessible and can be deployed as needed.

“This type of collaboration further validates our model for preparedness, which could prove useful in the years to come for this, and potentially other rare and tropical diseases.”

The vaccine is set be available to the DoD for vaccinating individuals who may be deployed in a region considered at high risk for equine encephalitis.

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