GE Healthcare and Novavax collaborate on flu vaccine manufacturing
10 January 2008
GE Healthcare (NYSE:GE) and Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX)
are to collaborate to develop and market a pandemic influenza vaccine
manufacturing solution for selected international countries. This
collaboration leverages GE Healthcare's bioprocess solutions and design
expertise and Novavax's virus-like particle (VLP) and manufacturing
The global demand for pandemic influenza vaccine has been
reported as possibly approaching 13 billion doses, with current world
capacity at best 2.4 billion doses.
"This collaboration is a great first
example of GE Healthcare realizing its strategy of enabling affordable and
safe vaccine production for countries that need to better prepare for
emerging infectious diseases," said Peter Ehrenheim, President and CEO, GE
Healthcare Life Sciences.
Novavax's VLP-based H5N1 pandemic flu vaccine is
currently in Phase I/IIa clinical trials. The goal is that any required
recombinant vaccine could be produced in cell culture within 12 weeks of
identification of a pandemic strain, without using eggs or live influenza
virus — as little as half the time compared with currently available
Dr Rahul Singhvi, President and CEO of Novavax said, "This
collaboration is a critical milestone in addressing one of the most pressing
global healthcare issues of the 21st century. We believe the combination of
these technologies will enable the creation of a country's rapid response
supply and self-sufficiency in pandemic flu vaccine."
GE Healthcare's new
ReadyToProcess portfolio of ready-to-use systems and devices is designed to
increase speed, simplicity and safety for all areas of bioprocessing,
including the time it takes to build and validate a facility. With Novavax's
VLP and manufacturing platform, the intention is that it could enable
commissioning of a new facility from scratch in approximately two and a half
years, half the time for a traditional egg-based vaccine production
facility, and at a potential capital reduction of approximately 60%.