Temasek and Emergent BioSolutions Join to Develop a Broad Spectrum Pandemic Flu Vaccine and Therapeutic

September 8, 2010

Temasek Life Science Ventures Pte, Ltd. (TLV, Singapore) and Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (Rockville, MD) will form EPIC BIO Pte Ltd, a joint venture to develop, manufacture, and commercialize a multivalent, cross-protective human vaccine to protect against influenza caused by a broad range of circulating H5 influenza strains.

Temasek Life Science Ventures Pte, Ltd. (TLV, Singapore) and Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (Rockville, MD) will form EPIC BIO Pte Ltd, a joint venture to develop, manufacture, and commercialize a multivalent, cross-protective human vaccine to protect against influenza caused by a broad range of circulating H5 influenza strains. The broad spectrum pandemic flu vaccine is expected to be based on multiple antigens held by TLV and delivered as a single vaccine using Emergent’s MVAtor vaccine delivery platform.
The joint venture plans to initiate clinical manufacturing of the broad spectrum H5 vaccine candidate in 2011, with the clinical trial scheduled to begin in 2012. Some of the anticipated attributes of the broad-spectrum pandemic vaccine candidate include:

  • incorporating three H5HA antigens from divergent H5 strains in a single candidate, including the Vietnam (VN) strain on which most other pandemic vaccines are based

  • cell culture–based manufacturing that is not dependent on chicken eggs

  • enabling long term stability, thus allowing for potential stockpiling of bulk vaccine.

In addition to the H5 vaccine, the joint venture will develop monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of pandemic H5 influenza using TLV’s monoclonal technology. The monoclonal antibody candidate will offer broad protection against most circulating H5 influenza strains and will limit the ability of the virus to mutate and escape therapy.
Under the terms of the joint venture, both companies will contribute cash and intellectual property to the partnership. Emergent will have 60% ownership while TLV will hold 40% of the joint venture. EPIC BIO will be based in Singapore.