Meningitis B (Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B) is a life-threatening bacterial infection most common among young children. The disease is nearly always fatal if left untreated and 10-15% fatal even if treated with antibiotics. Of those who recover from the disease, 10-20% experience permanent hearing loss, mental retardation or loss of limbs. There is no licensed vaccine that has shown protection against a wide range of Meningitis B strains.
"A safe and effective Meningitis B vaccine would provide a major advance in improving the health of our children," said Lance K. Gordon, Ph.D., VaxGen's President and CEO. "A great deal of work remains to be done and there is no assurance of success, but having carefully evaluated various approaches to developing a Meningitis B vaccine, VaxGen believes that EndoBiologics has developed a promising technology. If this approach ultimately results in a vaccine approved for commercial use, we believe it would be appropriate for routine pediatric immunization."
The initial proof-of-concept phase will be undertaken jointly by EndoBiologics and VaxGen, with VaxGen providing research funding to EndoBiologics and conducting pre-clinical testing of the vaccine candidate.
If VaxGen exercises its option to continue developing the vaccine candidate after the proof-of-concept studies, the company would provide milestone payments and additional research funding to EndoBiologics. VaxGen also would provide EndoBiologics with royalty and additional
Contact: Paul Laland