$6.5 Million Dollar Grant Awarded For Developing Novel Oral Vaccine Against Poliovirus Type 2

Batavia Biosciences announced nOPV2 vaccine development grant
Africa (Vax Before Travel)

Batavia Biosciences announced it received a grant of $6.5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a manufacturing process for a novel oral vaccine against poliovirus type 2 strain (nOPV2).

The nOPV2 vaccine to be developed is the first nOPV vaccine to go through clinical development, said Batavia Biosciences in a September 16, 2019, press release.

Chris Yallop with Batavia Biosciences explains: “The nOPV2 vaccine, provided by our partner Bio Farma, is currently the most advanced in clinical development and most in-demand.” 

“The successful development of a low-cost manufacturing process for the novel PV2 strain will allow us to next apply our developed process to the novel PV1 and PV3 strains.”

The manufacturing process for the nOPV2 vaccine is based on the same highly intensified, low-cost vaccine manufacturing platform that Batavia Biosciences developed together with Univercells for the inactivated Sabin polio vaccine.

Menzo Havenga, CEO of Batavia Biosciences, comments: “We are very excited to work with these eminent partners and take the next step towards a polio-free world.” 

“Only by working closely together will we be able to protect every last child from all forms of poliovirus.”

This is important news since wild poliovirus remains endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan, reports the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).

And, several African and Asian countries have reported vaccine-derived cases of the paralyzing virus.

During the week ending September 11, 2019, the GPEI reported:

  • Afghanistan— one wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case,
  • Pakistan— four WPV1 cases and 28 WPV1-positive environmental samples,
  • Central African Republic (CAR)— two circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases and one cVDPV2-positive environmental sample, and
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)— one cVDPV2 case.

Previously, the GPEI reported on September 3, 2019, a total of 7.1 million Pakistani children were successfully administered polio drops, which means they are protected against the poliovirus.

According to the GPEI, there have been 78 wild polio cases and 72 vaccine-derived cases confirmed during 2019.

Since 1979, no cases of polio have originated in the United States. This means that there is no year-round transmission of poliovirus in the United States, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Polio vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. You are encouraged to report polio vaccine side effects to a healthcare provider or the CDC.

Polio vaccine news published by Vax-Before-Travel


Article by
Dani Reiter