AJ Vaccines will contribute to global polio eradication with its innovative vaccine Picovax®
June 28, 2019 | Press release
Picovax® has been approved by the Danish Medicines Agency, and the WHO prequalification is expected by the end of 2019, enabling initial delivery of up to 100 million doses globally via UN agencies in 2020-2024.
Copenhagen, Denmark 28 June 2019 – AJ Vaccines today announced that its adjuvanted IPV vaccine Picovax® has gained marketing approval in Denmark by the Danish Medicines Agency. The approval process was initiated in 2018 following positive results from clinical trials involving almost 3,000 infants. The Danish marketing approval paves the way for WHO prequalification with a view to enable AJ Vaccines to deliver Picovax® doses to UN agencies such as UNICEF and PAHO early next year.
The marketing approval of the adjuvanted Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) is a major milestone in the ongoing efforts of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, established in 1988. Picovax® provides active immunization against poliomyelitis by primary vaccination in infants from the age of 6 weeks and for revaccination of infants, children, adolescents and adults. Picovax® vaccine is based on a proprietary formulation technology that allows a lower dose of active substances, it is a well-tolerated and non-inferior alternative to currently approved IPV vaccines.
“The approval of Picovax® underlines the world-class innovation and development capabilities of AJ Vaccines. We are proud that our dedicated employees have deployed their combined skills to develop a ground breaking vaccine, which has the potential to contribute greatly to the eradication of polio and reach millions of infants in need of affordable and effective immunization globally,” said Jesper Helmuth Larsen, CEO of AJ Vaccines.
The marketing approval in Denmark and expected WHO prequalification of Picovax®, combined with the recent investment in a state of the art WHO GAPIII compliant polio vaccine manufacturing facility, form a strong foundation for establishing AJ Vaccines as a major contender in the global market for IPV vaccines during the global eradication endgame and for routing immunizations after the eradication.
“We expect the development and approval of Picovax® to have a positive impact on the lives of millions of people, while simultaneously constituting a significant business potential and growth opportunity for AJ Vaccines. We aim to launch the product globally in early 2020 through partnerships with UNICEF and other pooled procurement programs as well as directly to the private market,” said Jesper Helmuth Larsen.
The polio vaccine development project was initiated in 2013 in cooperation with and financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The new GHC registration is in line with AJ Vaccines’ ambition for global growth. “Our employees are aware of the current global challenges and are committed to finding solutions towards a world free of serious diseases across all generations. The GHC registration will leverage our competitiveness and enable us to enter new markets with promising growth trajectories hereby supporting our objective of a stronger regional foothold”, says Jérôme Cabannes, COO of AJ Vaccines.
Strong potential for new business
Currently AJ Vaccines supplies BCG Vaccine and Tuberculin to several countries in the region. “The GHC registration will definitely increase our market shares of both products. In addition, I see a potential to market our booster vaccines, cancer therapy and the new inactivated polio vaccine, Picovax® in the region. This innovative dose-sparing polio vaccine is AJ Vaccines response to the growing global demand for inactivated polio vaccines that are key to the success of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative”, concludes Jérôme Cabannes, COO of AJ Vaccines.