Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) entered into separate agreements with the GAVI Alliance to supply pneumococcal vaccines to developing countries. Pneumococcal disease can lead to pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis and is one of the leading causes of death in children under the age of five in developing countries.
Pfizer agreed to supply as many as 480 million doses of its pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine Prevenar 13 during the next 12 years to the GAVI Alliance. Pfizer will supply the doses through an advance market commitment (AMC), a financing mechanism that GAVI piloted to encourage vaccine makers to produce suitable and affordable vaccines for the world’s poorest countries. The agreement builds on the company’s March 2010 commitment to supply 300 million vaccine doses.
“Prevenar 13 was introduced into the childhood immunization program of a developing country within one year of its launch in the United States and European Union—an historic precedent given the average 10–15 year lag between the introduction of newer vaccines in developed versus developing countries,” said Mark Swindell, president of vaccines at Pfizer, in a statement. “One year later, Prevenar 13 is now available in 14 of 16 countries which have launched pneumococcal immunization programs under the AMC.”
The vaccine has been approved in more than 100 countries. To meet growing demand, Pfizer will increase its manufacturing capacities through a combination of capital investment, process improvements, and efficiency measures throughout its supply network.
GSK is also building on a previous March 2010 commitment to supply GAVI with 300 million doses of its Synflorix pneumococal vaccine. Under the latest agreement, the company will supply an additional 180 million doses by 2023, bringing the total to 480 million doses. The vaccine will be used in immunization programs in 71 developing countries. The extra doses were committed following GAVI’s decision to support the introduction of pneumococcal vaccination in an additional 18 countries.