Batavia Biosciences received an $8 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a low cost manufacturing process to bring an affordable rotavirus vaccine to the global health market. This vaccine aims to save many young children’s lives worldwide.
Rotavirus infection, associated with severe vomiting and diarrhea, is the second largest infectious cause of death in young children. According to the World Health Organization, 215,000 child deaths globally occur due to rotavirus infection. Additionally, 2 million children are hospitalized. Current marketed vaccines often demonstrate reduced efficacy in lower-income settings, have undesirable presentation characteristics and are too expensive for widespread use in developing countries, which means many millions of children remain at risk.
Chris Yallop, CSO of Batavia Biosciences, explains: “To deliver a low cost manufacturing process that is suitable for developing countries, Batavia Biosciences will employ novel technologies such as fixed-bed, high cell density bioreactors. Additionally, the vaccine will be based on the RV3-BB rotavirus strain, a naturally occurring attenuated strain developed by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute that shows promising immunogenicity data in early testing.”
Batavia Biosciences will develop the process in partnership with Bio Farma, a leading vaccine manufacturer who will be responsible for market authorization and commercial manufacture.
Menzo Havenga, CEO of Batavia Biosciences, states: “We are proud to work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Bio Farma on bringing a safe, efficacious and affordable rotavirus vaccine to all in need as this vaccine is clearly long overdue.”