Initial focus is on exploring policy and regulatory pathways in endemic countries.
Inviragen and The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) signed a collaboration agreement that ultimately aims to facilitate accessibility of a dengue fever vaccine to populations in endemic countries. Inviragen is currently carrying out two Phase I studies with its quadrivalent dengue vaccine candidate, DenVax. The vaccine comprises an attenuated DEN-2 PDK-53 vaccine originally licensed to the firm by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), combined with each of the chimeric vaccines (DEN-2/1, DEN-2/3, and DEN-2/4), to provide overall protection against all four dengue viruses.
As part of the new collaboration initiative, Inviragen and IVI will work to strengthen regulatory and policy environments to help speed dengue vaccine development and introduction, and to raise funds to help low- and middle-income countries with procuring available vaccine candidates.
IVI established its Dengue Vaccine Initiative (DVI) earlier this year, in collaboration with the Sabin Vaccine Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and the World Health Organization. Funded through a $6.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the DVA aims to work with governments, industry, and the scientific community to accelerate the development and utilization of broadly protective vaccines against dengue.
“Inviragen’s collaboration with DVI will allow us to address issues of vaccine acceptance and distribution while we continue clinical testing of our tetravalent DenVax vaccine in dengue endemic countries,” comments Dan Stinchcombe, M.D., CEO.
Inviragen’s vaccine pipeline includes a hand, foot, and mouth disease candidate, EV71, which started in initial Phase I clinical trials in June. Inviragen has in addition obtained an exclusive license to a preclinical West Nile vaccine candidate developed by CDC researchers, which uses the same chimeric virus technology developed for the dengue vaccine. The firm’s preclinical and research-stage pipeline includes vaccine candidates against chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis, human papilloma virus, along with a combination plague/smallpox vaccine for biodefense applications.