Batavia Biosciences in Leiden, Netherlands, has announced a $2.2 million grant from PATH, a global organization dedicated to health equity, to develop and manufacture novel, more attenuated, and safer oral polio vaccine candidates.
Part of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded effort to protect children worldwide from all types of polio, the project is focused on preventing person-to-person transmission of the disease and reducing the risk of new vaccine-derived polio cases associated with the currently available oral polio vaccine. The funding builds on a $4 million partnership between PATH and Batavia announced in January 2018 and will support efforts to produce master and working virus seeds for the second nOPV1 and nOPV3 vaccine candidates in the company's GMP manufacturing facility in Leiden.
If successful, the new nOPV candidates, which have been developed in partnership with the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control in the United Kingdom, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the University of California, San Francisco, could be stockpiled and used against future outbreaks.
“These novel oral polio vaccines have been developed with cutting-edge technologies,” said Batavia Biosciences chief science officer Chris Yallop, “with the goal to deliver safer and efficacious vaccines that will hopefully protect people in case of vaccine-derived polio outbreaks in the future.”