Batavia partners with IAVI to advance development of vaccine against Lassa fever


The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and Batavia Biosciences will work together under a grant to advance the development of a Lassa fever vaccine

With this grant, Batavia Biosciences will leverage its novel, highly intensified manufacturing technology to develop a low-cost, easy-to-implement manufacturing process.

This process can facilitate rapid clinical development and establishment of a stockpile of an innovative new Lassa fever vaccine, which is based on the Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) vector system.

This partnership is Batavia Biosciences’ latest contribution to global health initiatives with its extensive biopharmaceutical development know-how and technologies to bring safe, new and improved medicines to the market as quickly as possible.

Lassa fever, also known as Lassa haemorrhagic fever, is endemic in West Africa and can spread from person to person via contact with bodily fluids.

The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans mainly through handling rats, food or household items contaminated by rats’ urine. It causes a range of symptoms including vomiting, fever and bleeding.

An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 Lassa fever cases are diagnosed annually, resulting in approximately 5000 deaths. Despite this high morbidity and mortality, no vaccine for Lassa fever is currently available.

Lassa fever devastates lives and has far-reaching economic consequences. Vaccines are a vital part of the fight against them but their development is costly, complex and challenging.

Batavia Biosciences’ COO Dr Chris Yallop, states: “It is an honour that IAVI has appointed Batavia Biosciences to partner in the development of such an innovative and potentially transformative vaccine production model.”

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Batavia Biosciences’ CEO Dr Menzo Havenga, concludes: “This partnership with IAVI is a further validation of our viral vector technology, and provides us with an opportunity to further develop a new global health solution on top of our contributions to the polio vaccine, rotavirus vaccine and novel biomanufacturing platforms all aiming at making biopharmaceuticals available and affordable to all.”