French drugmaker sanofi pasteur has signed an agreement with U.S.-based Emergent BioSolutions for the worldwide rights to Emergent's proprietary proteins for the development of a novel meningitis B vaccine, the companies announced. The parties will also collaborate in all aspects of product development through to regulatory approval.
The two companies will jointly evaluate and develop a pool of Emergent BioSolution's proprietary antigens as the basis of a multivalent subunit vaccine against Neisseria meningitidis infection. Emergent will have primary responsibility for product development activities through Phase I clinical trials. Sanofi pasteur will have primary responsibility for product development activities from initiation of Phase II studies through to regulatory approval, and for all commercialization activities including worldwide sales and marketing.
Meningococcal disease is a life threatening infection capable of causing both meningitis and septicemia. Children aged 6 months to 2 years are at the highest risk of serogroup B meningococcal infection (meningitis B), with teenagers also at enhanced risk. While there are effective purified polysaccharide and conjugate vaccines available to protect against the other major meningococcal serogroups, there is no preventive vaccine currently available to protect against meningitis B infections.