GlaxoSmithKline moves malaria vaccine production to India; Nevakar bags European partner and nine-figure deal
GSK is shifting production of its malaria vaccine to a Covid-19 vaccine developer in India.
Wednesday’s move to Bharat Biotech was made as part of efforts to battle the deadly fever, as GSK’s vaccine is the first to prove effective in combating the disease. Bharat will take over manufacturing of the protein part of the vaccine while GSK continues developing the adjuvant portion of the shot.
The vaccine is currently being piloted in regions of Ghana, Kenya and Malawi under the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Program. More than 500,000 children have received the first dose since the pilots were initiated by the three countries in 2019.
GSK has committed to providing 10 million doses for the pilot programs and 15 million annually through 2028. The companies expect that by 2029, Bharat Biotech will take over as the sole supplier of the vaccine while GSK continues to provide the adjuvant.
According to the WHO, there were 229 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2019, with 94% of cases and deaths occurring in Africa. — Max Gelman
Ophthalmology biotech bags a European partner and a deal worth up to $135M
New Jersey-based Nevakar has a European partner for a new treatment that aims to slow myopia in children.
Laboratoires Théa in France is taking on the program, looking to launch in Europe provided Nevakar can get this therapy over the EMA’s regulatory goal line with NVK-002. And the company will pay up to $135 million in milestones — along with royalties from any sales.
“Nevakar’s NVK-002 is the most advanced and innovative atropine product for the treatment of myopia. When approved, it will help address unmet needs in children’s eye care,” stated Jean-Frédéric Chibret, the president of Théa. — John Carroll
Enthera extends largest-ever Italian Series A
Enthera Pharmaceuticals, which in July bagged the largest Series A ever for an Italian biotech, just added some more cash to its funding round.
The biotech extended the fundraising by €7 million, and has now raised a total of €35 million for the round. Investors from the Roche Venture Fund hopped on to the extension, joining a group that already included Sofinnova Partners and AbbVie Ventures.
As part of the Series A round, Roche Venture Fund chief Carole Nuechterlein joins the company’s board of directors.
Enthera is using “nontraditional” technology to target autoimmune diseases, looking to re-establish stem cell capabilities in Type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.
“These funds raised will enable us to accelerate our lead program Ent001 to clinical proof-of-concept,” CEO Giovanni Amabile said in a statement. “Through this and our wider pipeline, we hope to develop safe, effective treatments.”
— Max Gelman