ID Biomedical to supply meningitis C vaccine to the Canadian government

ID Biomedical Corporation announced today that it has been selected to supply meningitis C vaccine to the Canadian government over the next two years.

The Canadian government has retained an option to purchase additional product from the Company in the third and final year of the contract. The total value of the contract, including the third year option, could total approximately $30 million to ID Biomedical. This contract was awarded by Public Works Canada on behalf of health ministries. The contract covers all Canadian provinces and territories, with the exception of Quebec, which already has its own meningitis C vaccine distribution program. ID Biomedical expects to deliver approximately 1 million doses of NeisVac-C(x) vaccine, a meningitis C conjugate vaccine, over the first two years of the contract.

"ID Biomedical is committed to participate in this federal and provincial governmental public health effort to immunize children against meningitis C. We have been chosen as the main supplier of the Canadian government and are very proud to offer the only two-dose infant regimen meningitis C vaccine available in Canada," said Staph Bakali, Chief Operating Officer.

"This two-dose regimen is an improvement over the standard three-dose regimen and ensures increased patient compliance and better outcomes because of the shortened dosing schedule. It further provides convenience and efficiency for healthcare practitioners responsible for administering the vaccine to infants. This represents good progress in the fight against meningitis C in Canada," added Mr. Bakali.

NeisVac-C (meningococcal group C - tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine) was first approved for commercialization in Canada in January 2002 as a three-dose regimen. On May 5, 2004, ID Biomedical received the approval from Health Canada of a new NeisVac-C two-dose regimen for infants aged two to twelve months. NeisVac-C is the only two-dose regimen meningitis C vaccine available in Canada.

Based on an innovative technology discovered by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), NeisVac-C vaccine represents NRC's first vaccine technology to be approved for marketing in this country. ID Biomedical has obtained exclusive rights from the NRC on the product as well as entered into a Distribution Agreement with Baxter Healthcare Corporation, developer of the vaccine, for the Canadian distribution of NeisVac-C vaccine.

NeisVac-C vaccine has been shown to be highly immunogenic in infants, children, adolescents and adults against serogroup C Neisseria meningitidis. It also confers immunologic memory (long-term protection) in all age groups, including infants and toddlers, who are the hardest hit by this disease. In addition, NeisVac-C vaccine offers an excellent safety profile among people of all ages as well as ease of administration. This vaccine comes in a liquid formulation provided in pre-filled syringes to facilitate administration and to reduce the time required by health-care centers to vaccinate patients.

NeisVac-C vaccine is indicated for the active immunization of children from two months of age and older as well as adolescents and adults for the prevention of invasive disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C. NeisVac-C vaccine has already been approved in 20 countries worldwide where it is marketed by Baxter.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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