Ahmedabad based pharmaceuticals major Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (CPL) today announced the launch of its joint venture with the US based vaccine company, Novavax as per the agreement signed between the two companies in March 2009. This new venture called “CPL Biologicals Pvt. Ltd.” will work in the area of development and manufacturing of therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines, biological therapeutics and diagnostics in India.
Mr. I. A. Modi, Chairman of CPL Biologicals, noted: “This joint venture represents an important strategic alliance for vaccine development and manufacturing in India and uses unique and cutting-edge vaccine technology. Our vision is to be a leading provider of high quality, affordable vaccines, biological therapeutics and diagnostics through world-class research and innovative manufacturing to address current and future global health challenges.”
The new joint venture (JV) will develop novel vaccines based on “Virus Like Particles” (VLP) using cutting edge technology. This technology significantly compresses vaccine manufacturing time as compared to the conventional methods. Furthermore, an additional feature about the VLP technology is that it mimics the virus without the ability to cause infection.
CPL Biologicals will establish manufacturing facilities in India to develop, produce and sell products such as influenza vaccine, and other novel vaccines based on VLP technology. Looking at the global spread of swine flu and the WHO’s announcement of declaring it as a pandemic, the swine flu vaccine is an urgent need. A special initial focus is to develop the pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine candidate (Swine flu vaccine) in India that Novavax is developing in the United States.
The initial investment in CPL Biologicals is about Rs. 100 crores. Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (CPL) is also a significant shareholder in Novavax, Inc. USA and has a position on the Board of Directors of Novavax.
With this alliance, a new era in the field of vaccine development has started in India. The company aims to produce and market biologicals in India before the end of the fiscal year 2009-10.
This strategic partnership will surely turn a new leaf in the pharma history of our nation.
About Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd. is one of the largest privately held pharmaceutical companies in India, headquartered at Ahmedabad, in the State of Gujarat. Over the last five decades, it has been developing and manufacturing pharmaceutical products and selling and distributing these in India and in over 50 countries around the world. Cadila Pharmaceuticals is an integrated healthcare solutions provider with a pharmaceutical product basket in therapeutic areas that include cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, analgesics, haematinics, anti-infectives and antibiotics, respiratory agents, antidiabetics and immunologicals. The state-of-the-art Research and Development (R&D) facility at
Cadila Pharmaceuticals is manned by more than three hundred and fifty scientists and engineers from various disciplines including biology, pharmacology, clinical research, chemistry, toxicology, phytochemistry and different disciplines of engineering. The company also participates in Public-Private partnerships for developing preventive and curative pharmaceutical and diagnostic products. Over the last decade, Cadila Pharmaceuticals has focused on novel approaches to cancer management and is the first Indian company to get multiple investigational new drug applications (INDs) approval by USFDA. The company has state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities conforming to the most stringent international norms at Dholka, Ankleshwar, Kadi and Hirapur in Gujarat; Samba in Jammu and Kashmir and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
After Polycap- a novel and world’s first drug combination for primary prevention of Cardiovascular Heart Disease (CHD), Cadila Pharmaceuticals is on the World map.
Novavax, Inc. USA, a NASDAQ listed company, is a clinical stage biotechnology company, creating novel vaccines to address a broad range of infectious diseases worldwide using advanced proprietary virus-like particle (VLP) technology. The Company produces these VLP based potent, recombinant vaccines utilizing a new and efficient manufacturing approach.
Novavax is using virus-like particle (VLP) technology to tackle influenza viruses – including avian strains that have the potential to cause a pandemic outbreak. It has created vaccines designed to protect against various circulating strains of avian influenza as well as seasonal flu, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV). Having validated their approach in animals, they are now in clinical testing of pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccine.
Novavax follows a holistic approach to control the spread of disease. Using a unique manufacturing system that allows for rapid mass production, its long-term goal is to be able to rapidly deliver a customized vaccine in the midst of a pandemic.
M/s. Novavax is in the process of developing vaccines for RSV Herpes Zoster and also plans to apply its particle-based vaccine approach to other viral diseases beyond influenza.
With Virus Like Particle (VLP) Technology, Novavax has created the vaccines with structure similar to a virus but without the genetic material required for viral replication. Once injected into the body, VLPs trigger an immune response sufficient to protect a person if exposed to the virus.
VLPs have a number of advantages over traditional vaccines. Because they more closely match an individual viral strain, VLPs can trigger a more robust immune response. In addition, live virus is not needed to produce a VLP vaccine. Only the genetic sequence of the virus is required to quickly create a VLP vaccine against it. Because VLPs do not contain viral nucleic acids (DNA or RNA), they cannot replicate, and therefore, they present no threat of infection to a person being vaccinated.
The VLP is well suited to the development of vaccines against diseases endemic to India and surrounding regions like dengue fever, chikungunya fever. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease, which has re-emerged in India and has a very high mortality rate. Currently, there is no vaccine or definitive treatment for Dengue fever.