PaxVax expands commercial network for typhoid vaccine

PaxVax CEO Ken Kelley outside the 2015 JP Morgan Healthcare Conference

PaxVax's typhoid vaccine, Vivotif, is licensed for sale in 27 countries. But the Redwood, CA-based company is looking to expand its presence, announcing on Wednesday a series of commercial partnerships and distribution agreements to ensure availability of Vivotif in Australia and Europe.

In countries where PaxVax does not have its own commercial operations, the company has signed agreements for the sale, marketing and distribution of the vaccine. Valneva will market Vivotif in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, bioCSL will do so in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Isles, and Novartis ($NVS) will do so in Germany. Novartis recently completed a multibillion-dollar asset swap with GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), trading away most of its vaccines portfolio to the British company.

PaxVax acquired Vivotif from J&J's Crucell subsidiary in July 2014. It became PaxVax's first marketed vaccine. The company aims to increase the size of Vivotif's market from $25 to $27 million in annual sales to a peak of $80 million to $90 million in annual sales.

Vivotif has about 25% of the market, which means it will have to encroach on Sanofi's ($SNY) turf. The French pharma markets Typhim Vi, which has most of the market cornered. But PaxVax CEO Ken Kelley told FierceVaccines that Vivotif has a leg up because it's oral and "longer-lasting".

PaxVax has several other candidates in its pipeline, most notably its cholera candidate, which has the potential to be the first FDA-approved cholera vaccine. In December, the candidate met its primary endpoints in a Phase III trial.

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