Bavarian Nordic rushes to boost output of monkeypox vaccine

Bavarian Nordic rushes to boost output of monkeypox vaccine

Bavarian Nordic is making “every effort” to satisfy demand for its monkeypox vaccine, the only approved shot against the rapidly spreading disease, as countries grapple with severely limited supplies.

The Danish biotech company’s chief executive Paul Chaplin said on Wednesday the outbreak was “unprecedented”, as the company released its first-half results.

“We are making every effort to meet the initial worldwide demand for our monkeypox vaccine and are working diligently to further expand our manufacturing capacity through additional scale-up activities and partnerships,” he said.

Bavarian said last week it had entered a limited deal with a US manufacturer to expand supply.

More than 41,000 cases of monkeypox have been detected since May, when a cluster of cases was reported in Europe. Before this outbreak, monkeypox was endemic in sub-Saharan Africa. There are early signs the global spread may be slowing, though numbers are not definitive.

Supplies of the shot, known as Jynneos or Imvanex, have been severely limited. The vaccine was originally designed against smallpox and kept in bulk stockpiles in case of a resurgence of the disease, which governments had hypothesised could come in the form of bioterrorism. Authorities then approved its use against monkeypox, a virus that very closely resembles smallpox.

The UK has nearly run out of supplies and will not get any more until late September, the Financial Times has reported, and the rest of Europe is also grappling with shortages. Health authorities in the UK, EU and US have backed “fractional dosing” — administration of a fraction of the usual dose — to stretch out supplies.

Also on Wednesday, Bavarian said it had struck a deal with the World Health Organization’s Pan American Health Organization to increase access to the shot in Latin America and the Caribbean, with deliveries expected to begin in September.

Bavarian said on Wednesday it had recorded a loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of DKr212mn ($28mn) for the first half on revenues of DKr857mn.

The company has raised guidance six times since March, buoyed by vaccine orders.

Citi analysts said they expected “large incremental monkeypox vaccine orders in the second half that will materially transform Bavarian’s earnings outlook for 2023, 2024, 2025” and beyond.

Confirmed orders for 2022 stand at more than 2mn and are fast approaching 8mn for 2023, Citi added.

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: Ipodifier