Spotlight On... Deal in Russia could cause Pfizer, GSK to lose contracts; Gavi pledges $500M to support vaccination programs in India; J&J, Bavarian Nordic Ebola vaccine enters PhII at Walter Reed; and more...

A unit of Rostec, Russia's state corporation, has inked a pact with the Serum Institute of India to locally produce several vaccines in Russia, the Pharma Letter reports, a development that could bring about "significant losses" for Pfizer ($PFE) and GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) in the country. The publication cited a Rostec official as the source of the information, adding that the deal calls for local production of vaccines against polio, pneumococcus and Haemophilus influenzae as well as other medicines. Report (sub. req.)

> Gavi is providing $500 million to support vaccination programs in India. Story

> Researchers have identified three potential vaccine compounds that could offer protection against the parasite that causes river blindness (onchocerciasis) and hope to take at least one of the three to clinical trials by 2020. Release

> Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and Bavarian Nordic's prime-boost Ebola candidate entered Phase I trials at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland. More

> Moderna Therapeutics announced the initiation of a Phase I study for mRNA 1440, an infectious disease vaccine developed by its infectious disease venture, Valera, for an undisclosed target. Release

> Brazil has cut the number of doses for HPV and pneumonia vaccines given by the public health service in a bid to reduce health costs during its recession. Story