Novartis plans trials for growing vaccines pipeline

Novartis is taking the wraps off its vaccine pipeline, highlighting plans for new trials as it talks up a lineup of vaccine candidates. Researchers for the company detailed plans that include a mid-stage proof-of-concept trial for its Helicobacter pylori vaccine to prevent stomach ulcers. A Group B Streptococcus vaccine candidate is in early-stage trials and another vaccine to prevent Group A Streptococcus is scheduled to enter the clinic in 2010.

Novartis has ambitious plans for the vaccines business. Its two most advanced vaccines--Menveo and MenB--are both potential blockbusters. And the pharma giant plans to unveil a new research center in Cambridge, MA that will house 250 scientists later this year.

"Our emerging late and early stage pipeline underscores our commitment to prevention as a means to improve health and address public health challenges," said Dr. Joerg Reinhardt, CEO of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. "We are focusing on diseases such as meningococcal meningitis where current vaccines do not protect against all strains that cause this potentially fatal condition which affects up to 500,000 people a year."

- check out the press release