ROVI Signs Letter of Intentions with Novartis for Production of Influenza Vaccines

April 8, 0210

Laboratorios Farmacéuticos Rovi (ROVI, Madrid, Spain) has signed a letter of intentions with Novartis Vaccines (Basel, Switzerland), aiming to explore a definitive agreement for the transfer of Novartis Vaccines? patented technology needed to produce vaccines against seasonal and pandemic influenza.

Laboratorios Farmacéuticos Rovi (ROVI, Madrid, Spain), pharmaceutical company engaged in the research, development, in-licensing, manufacturing, and marketing of small molecule and specialty biologic drugs, has signed a letter of intentions with Novartis Vaccines (Basel, Switzerland), aiming to explore a definitive agreement for the transfer of Novartis Vaccines’ patented technology needed to produce vaccines against seasonal and pandemic influenza.

According to the letter of intentions, ROVI and Novartis Vaccines would establish a joint venture that would market influenza vaccines in Spain. The details of the commercial agreement between ROVI and Novartis Vaccines will be stated after the definitive contracts are closed. This strategic alliance with Novartis Vaccines for the manufacturing and marketing of influenza vaccines in Spain could result in a long-term collaboration.

Novartis Vaccines produces vaccines for seasonal and pandemic flu using traditional technology based on incubation in eggs and technology based on cell culture. Both technologies can be used with adjuvant technology. The technology to be transferred to ROVI would be selected after a deep analysis of reliability and costs.

The letter of intentions comes within the framework of the protocol of intentions signed on June 10, 2009, by the Ministry of Health and Social Policy and by the Regional Ministries of Innovation, Science, Enterprise, and Health of the Government of Andalusia for the research of new technologies and the production of flu vaccines. This program includes the construction of a center for the research and production of vaccines against seasonal and pandemic influenza, and is being implemented to supply the Spanish population with flu vaccines, all according to the regulatory filing 110699 released June 30, 2009.

Regional Ministries of Innovation, Science and Enterprise, and Health of the Government of Andalusia and ROVI will construct the center for the research and production of vaccines in the Health Sciences Technology Park of Granada. Assuming that a definitive agreement is reached with Novartis, the plant would have annual manufacturing capacity of 10 million doses of seasonal flu vaccines, and 30 million doses of vaccines for pandemic flu.