Emergent forms JV for new pandemic vaccine

Rockville, MD-based Emergent BioSolutions has reached halfway around the world to join hands with a new partner to quickly develop a broad spectrum pandemic vaccine against multiple H5 strains. Singapore's Temasek Life Science Ventures will be the junior partner in the joint venture, Epic Bio, which is being split 60/40.

Emergent says it plans to start ramping up production of the H5 pandemic vaccine next year using a cell-based manufacturing system--avoiding the traditional need to use chickens and eggs in vaccine manufacturing work. A clinical trial is planned for 2012. The JV plans to incorporate three H5HA antigens within the vaccine candidate, including the Vietnam strain.

"Epic Bio's viability and success will be anchored on TLV's extensive experience in cutting-edge research combined with Emergent's core competencies in product development, manufacturing, and commercialization," says Daniel Abdun-Nabi, president and chief operating officer of Emergent BioSolutions.

- here's the Emergent release