Valneva SE has announced that its fully owned US subsidiary Intercell USA, Inc. has entered into distribution and marketing services agreements with VaxServe, Inc. (“VaxServe”), a Sanofi Pasteur company, for Valneva’s Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine IXIARO® in the United States (U.S.). This collaboration is part of Valneva’s strategy to commercialize IXIARO® through a combination of its own sales & marketing infrastructure and distribution agreements with established local partners at favorable terms.
VaxServe is a national healthcare supplier serving primary care physician offices, community immunization providers, immunizing pharmacies, travel clinics and corporations in the U.S. VaxServe is a subsidiary of Sanofi Pasteur, which is the vaccine division of Sanofi and a world leader in the vaccine industry.
Under the terms of the agreements, VaxServe will perform marketing and promotional services and distribute Valneva’s Japanese encephalitis vaccine exclusively in the U.S. private market beginning December 18, 2015. Through the agreements, Valneva and VaxServe are working together to increase the private market for IXIARO® vaccine in the U.S. The agreements do not include the distribution of the vaccine by VaxServe to the public market, including the U.S. military and other federal governmental agencies, which Valneva will handle directly.
Over 5 million people travel annually from the U.S. to Asia1 where they are at risk of encountering the JE virus, a mosquito-born disease which is fatal in up to 30% of contracted cases. The number of U.S. travelers to Asia has been growing by over 5% between 2012 and 2014 according to the latest statistics published by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Thomas Lingelbach, President and CEO and Franck Grimaud, Deputy CEO of Valneva, commented, “This new marketing and distribution relationship is a significant step for Valneva, as IXIARO® is our largest revenue contributor. We believe that with VaxServe’s market position and track record we have found the optimal partner to help us unlock the growth potential of this product in the U.S. travel segment.”
Albert Thomas, Associate Vice President and General Manager of VaxServe, added, “VaxServe is pleased to partner with Valneva to market, sell and distribute this important travel vaccine to the U.S. private market. Further, through this distribution relationship, we’ll have the opportunity to reinforce our position as a leader in the immunization services and solutions marketplace.”
The agreements with VaxServe follow Valneva’s decision in June 2015 to terminate the marketing and distribution agreement it had signed with Novartis vaccines in 2006 and which was transferred to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in 2015. Through this step Valneva expects to significantly improve sales margin and profitability of its JE vaccine, as of 2016 and beyond. Valneva is working with GSK on preparing the transition with the aim to ensure continuous supply and best service level to its customers.
Financial terms of the agreements between Valneva’s US subsidiary Intercell USA, Inc. and VaxServe were not disclosed.