Cambridge, UK, 24 September 2019 – Following the strategic licensing deal with CNBG, the largest Pharmaceutical Vaccine company in China, earlier this year, ImmunoBiology Ltd (“ImmBio”) has announced that it is searching for additional strategic partners to develop and commercialise its universal pneumococcal vaccine, PnuBioVax™. AEC Partners, a leading life-sciences advisory firm head quartered in Paris, has been appointed to support this initiative which is at Phase 2 clinical stage of development.
ImmBio owns long lasting IP for development of protein-based vaccines which can potentially target a universal group of strains for disease. This is a unique approach in the field of pneumococcal disease and a clear differentiator from other pharmaceutical companies with vaccine products that target only a small subset of pre-existing Streptococcus pneumoniae polysaccharide variants or serotypes.
Hilde Depraetere, Acting Executive Director at the European Vaccine Initiative (EVI) said: “We are thrilled with our collaboration with ImmBio in the development of the next generation vaccine, PnuBioVax™. The protein-based vaccine has the potential to address the limitations of current serotype dependent vaccines and provide with a long-lasting solution that would impact the socio-economic burden of the disease in both developed and developing countries”.
PnuBioVax™ is a Phase 2-ready protein vaccine, with good Phase 1 clinical safety and immunogenic data, targeting a broad range of Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes. In pre-clinical studies, PnuBioVax™ was shown to be immunogenic against all S. pneumoniae strains tested to date regardless of the serotype – evidence of a universal vaccine which, together with low cost of manufacture, will give ImmBio market and clinical dominance when PnuBioVax™ is approved by regulatory authorities.
Prof Jeremy Brown, Professor of Respiratory Infection at UCL and an Honorary Consultant at UCLH and a member of the United Kingdom’s Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation, said “Significant pre-clinical data suggests the PnuBioVax™ vaccine can provide serotype-independent protection, thereby potentially addressing the concerns about serotype replacement with the existing capsular polysaccharide vaccines.”
ImmBio’s lead competitor is Pfizer who has reported sales to date of $30 Bn for its polysaccharide-based Prevnar™ vaccine which only targets 13 of the more than 90 different S. pneumoniae serotypes that have been identified to date. A more serious problem unfolding is the increasing antibiotic resistance (AMR) with the emergence of replacement serotypes not targeted by current vaccines. Pfizer has recently announced the development of a new Prevnar™ polysaccharide-based vaccine targeting as many as 20 serotypes of the pneumococcal bacteria and Merck is positioning its new polysaccharide-based 15-serotype vaccine (V114) as a Prevnar™ competitor.
ImmBio envisions commercialisation partnerships in different regions that will provide, in each geographical area, with a licence to PnuBioVax™ product rights. In addition to these commercial partnerships, Immbio will also seek financial partners to complement the clinical development funding.
Enrique Tabares, CEO of ImmBio, said “We are really excited with the support and the prospects of building a Global Consortium with key strategic and financial partners. Our PnuBioVax™ vaccine has the potential to become the leader in control of pneumonia, a global health problem facing the young and old. We believe that our novel approach to vaccine development can overtake current technologies in development because it offers a universal approach to all pneumococcal strains, both known and those which are likely to develop through mutation and evolution of the bacteria underlying pneumonia. In addition, a universal pneumococcal vaccine would make a significant contribution to the current global efforts to tackle AMR”