- Bavarian Nordic, biodefense, US growth, vaccines
Over the last 15 years Bavarian Nordic has transformed from a small biotech company with a key vaccine technology to an integrated vaccine producer and developer with a growing pipeline within infectious diseases and immuno-oncology. A key promotor to this transformation has been the close and strong linkage to the US Government, especially in the area of biodefence
The US Government risk assessment of bio threats fundamentally changed after the Anthrax attacks in New York in 2001. In relation to this and after further discovering limitations in using the existing stockpile of old-generation smallpox vaccines, the government stated a clear goal of developing and stockpiling a safe smallpox vaccine. Bavarian Nordic was able to deliver on these objectives, and has continuously developed and delivered Imvamune/Imvanex to the US emergency stockpile. The cooperation led to an early approval by EMA and Health Canada and a current emergency use authorization by FDA (awaiting phase 3 data for final approval).
Throughout this journey the key focus has been to both deliver timely and with high quality to the demands specified by the US Government as well as expanding the area of cooperation into new disease areas. This has led a number of development projects, such as the early stage development of an Ebola vaccine, which has been the foundation for Bavarian Nordic’s current advanced Ebola vaccine programme. Further, through a close cooperation with the National Cancer Institute, Bavarian Nordic has advanced and tested a growing portfolio of cancer treatments based on similar vaccine platforms as used for infectious diseases.
Most recently the US Government awarded a new supply and development contract for Bavarian Nordic’s smallpox vaccine programme, underlining the long term engagement in the area. “We are proud to be part of a long-standing and successful partnership with BARDA and this latest contract starts a new chapter, as we supply an improved formulation of our vaccine as part of the U.S. government commitment to protect the nation from a smallpox outbreak ” said Paul Chaplin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bavarian Nordic. “Our latest strategic investment that will expand our manufacturing capacities will add value, not only to our partnerships, but also to our proprietary pipeline.”
Looking into the future, Bavarian Nordic will thus continue to build on the cooperation with the US Government to ensure an even higher security against biological threats as well as finding new ways to develop safe vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer treatments and hence building resilience.
Bavarian Nordic has experienced great value from the DABF membership over the last few years and will continue to seek inspiration and knowledge from the DABF engagement and network setup.
Article courtesy of Jesper Elsgaard, Senior. Director, Global Governmental Affairs, Bavarian Nordic