Serum Institute of India and University of Oxford Strike Landmark Licensing Agreement for Meningitis-B Vaccine

Image from Serum Institute of India and University of Oxford Strike Landmark Licensing Agreement for Meningitis-B Vaccine News Article

16th April 2024

Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd (SIIPL), in collaboration with the University of Oxford, is developing a novel solution for Men-B disease, advancing global accessibility to life-saving vaccines.

In a significant stride towards addressing the challenge of Men-B disease, Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd (SIIPL) and the University of Oxford have formalised a Licence of Technology Agreement negotiated by Oxford University Innovation.

This partnership will deliver lifesaving protection against Men-B through the production of a chimeric protein-based vaccine.

The agreement underscores the shared institutional commitment to combat disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis and represents a proactive response to overcome the limitations of currently available Men-B vaccines in terms of efficacy, safety, and coverage.

Simon Warner, Head of Licensing & Ventures – Life Sciences, Oxford University Innovation said:

“The Men-B vaccine agreement with the Serum Institute of India is another example of vaccine innovation at the University of Oxford. Oxford’s commitment and investment to develop efficacious, deployable vaccines will protect millions of lives and academic licensing and successful commercial partnerships that help solve global health challenges.”

Invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) poses a formidable threat to children globally, affecting millions and is caused by six serogroups (Men-A, -B, -C, -W, -Y, and -X) of the bacterium. After five years of extensive work, SIIPL and the Oxford team, led by Professor Christoph Tang, at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology have formulated a quadrivalent vaccine consisting of four chimeric proteins to tackle Men-B.

Preliminary results expected later this year indicate that the Oxford-SIIPL protein-based vaccine advances several aspects including improved safety, efficacy, and coverage compared to present-day licensed vaccines.

The ground-breaking MenFive® (Meningococcal ACYWX Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine), developed by SIIPL, builds upon the success of MenAfriVac® in eliminating Men-A disease from sub-Saharan Africa.

Discussions are underway to implement MenFive® as a proactive strategy against meningococcal meningitis, further aligning with the WHO’s vision of defeating meningitis by 2030.

Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd (SIIPL) said:

“This partnership represents a monumental leap forward in our fight against meningitis, ensuring life-saving protection reaches those who need it most.”

This collaboration exemplifies a shared dedication to global health and underscores the importance of accessible vaccines. With long-standing partnerships and ongoing initiatives, our institutions remain steadfast in our shared goals to make a positive impact and reach communities in need worldwide. Together, we are shaping a healthier, safer future for all.

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