Smallpox vaccine is first major US product sale for Danish firm
Bavarian Nordic of Denmark has delivered the first one million doses of its Imvamune smallpox vaccine to the US national stockpile. Imvamune is for people with weakened immune systems such as Aids/HIV patients.
The federal government has ordered 20 million doses of the vaccine for use in case of a bioterrorism attack.
Imvamune was developed under Project BioShield, a US programme created by Congress in 2004 to develop and purchase medicines and vaccines to protect the US from bioterrorism.
The US government has taken an option with Bavarian Nordic for 60 million more doses of the vaccine.
‘This represents a significant milestone for our company, our first major sale to the US,’ said Bavarian Nordic chief executive Anders Hedegaard.
Currently stockpiled smallpox vaccines are based on a replicating form of the vaccinia virus and are considered inappropriate for up to 25% of the population that may have weakened immune systems.
Imvamune is made of a different strain of the virus, called vaccinia virus Ankara, and is targeted at the immune-compromised because it cannot multiply in human cells.