Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) today announced it has entered into a second supply agreement which will broaden and extend the duration of the Company's commitment to help protect millions of infants and young children in the developing world from pneumococcal disease - the leading cause of vaccine-preventable death in young children. Pfizer is now committed to supply up to a total of 480 million doses of Prevenar 13 (Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine [13-valent, adsorbed]) through 2023 building on its original commitment announced in March 2010 to supply up to 300 million doses of the vaccine under the auspices of the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for pneumococcal vaccines.
The AMC, an innovative program piloted by the GAVI Alliance, is a public-private approach to health funding designed to create a sustainable marketplace, ensure an affordable and stable supply of pneumococcal vaccines at a steeply discounted price and stimulate the development and expansion of manufacturing capacity for vaccines specifically for the world's poorest countries. The agreements for supply of pneumococcal vaccines have been financed by GAVI, five donor countries - Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Russian Federation, Norway - and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
"Pfizer is proud to broaden and extend access to our vaccine to advance public health," said Mark Swindell, president of Vaccines, Pfizer Inc. "Public-private partnership programs like the AMC are vital to accelerating the availability of affordable vaccines, faster than ever before, to those children who are most vulnerable. We are proud to help protect even more children at risk for the potentially devastating consequences of pneumococcal disease - which claims more young children's lives than any other vaccine-preventable disease."
In December 2010, Pfizer's 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine was introduced into the childhood immunization program of Nicaragua - the first developing country to launch a program under the auspices of the AMC.
"Prevenar 13 was introduced into the childhood immunization program of a developing country within one year of its launch in the United States and European Union - a historic precedent given the average 10-15 year lag between the introduction of newer vaccines in developed versus developing countries," added Swindell. "One year later, Prevenar 13 is now available in 14 of 16 countries which have launched pneumococcal immunization programs under the AMC. While there is much more work to be done, we are encouraged by this progress."
To date, Prevenar 13 has been introduced into the national childhood immunization programs of the following GAVI-eligible countries: Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Gambia, Guyana, Honduras, Malawi, Mali, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Yemen.
To meet the growing global demand for Prevenar 13, Pfizer is increasing its manufacturing capabilities through a combination of capital investment, process improvements and efficiency measures throughout its supply network. Additionally, Pfizer is engaged in the development of a preserved, multi-dose vial which, subject to the required regulatory approval, World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification and AMC eligibility requirements, would provide an alternative option for developing world countries.
Source: Pfizer Inc.