Dutch biopharmaceutical company Crucell N.V. recently announced the award from UNICEF of an additional $110M to supply its paediatric vaccine Quinvaxem to the developing world.
Paediatric vaccination plays an important role in contributing to achieving the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations, in particular the target of reducing under-five mortality rate by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015.
"We are proud to be able to deliver significant amount of additional vaccine orders at short notice," said Ronald Brus, Crucell's Chief Executive Officer. "The capacity and reliability of Crucell's manufacturing and logistical systems allows us to deliver high quality and safe vaccines to protect young children from life threatening diseases in the world's developing countries. As a responsible and reliable partner, we thus contribute to the success of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI Alliance) in accelerating access to these vaccines across the globe."
From 2006-2009 as part of the Extended Program for Immunization, over 130 million doses of Quinvaxem have been delivered to more than 50 countries. Crucell has been increasing its production capacity over the last few years in order to meet the growing demand for paediatric vaccines from the developing world.
Quinvaxem is the only fully liquid pentavalent DTwP-HepB-Hib vaccine that is free from the preservative thiomersal. It is an optimal solution for protection against five potentially deadly childhood diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Haemoplilus influenza type b infection and hepatitis B. Quinvaxem is ready for use without further preparation steps by healthcare workers in the field, which offers major healthcare advantages for these countries with a challenging infrastructure and hygiene problems.
This latest order brings the overall value of tenders awarded to Crucell for the period of 2010-2012 to $410. This is in addition to the $500M obtained over the tender period 2007-2009. They bring the total value of contracts awarded since the launch of Quinvaxem at the end of 2006 to $910M. During the first tender round in 2006, Crucell was initially awarded $230M (December 2006) and received additional incremental awards of $130M and $140M in May and September 2008, respectively.
Crucell N.V. is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on research development, production and marketing of vaccines, proteins and antibodies that prevent and/or treat infectious diseases. In 2009 alone, Crucell distributed more than 115 million vaccine doses in more than 100 countries around the world, with the fast majority of doses (97%) going to developing countries. Crucell is one of the major suppliers of vaccines to UNICEF and the developing world. Crucell was the first manufacturer to launch a fully-liquid pentavalent vaccine called Quinvaxem. Quinvaxem protects against five important childhood diseases and over 130 million doses have been sold since its launch in 2006 in more than 50 GAVI countries. Through Quinvaxem and its innovation, Crucell has become a major partner in protecting children in developing countries. Crucell's core portfolio also includes a vaccine against hepatitis B and a virosome-adjuvanted vaccine against influenza. Crucell also markets travel vaccines, such as an oral anti-typhoid vaccine, an oral cholera vaccine and the only aluminum-free hepatitis A vaccine on the market. The Company has a broad development pipeline, with several product candidates based on its unique PER.C6 production technology. The Company licenses its PER.C6 technology and other technologies to the biopharmaceutical industry. Important partners and licensees include Johnson & Johnson, DSM Biologics, sanofi-aventis, Novartis, Wyeth, GSK, CSL and Merck & Co. Crucell is headquartered in Leiden, the Netherlands, with subsidiaries in Argentina, China, Italy, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the USA. The Company employs over 1200 people. For more information, visit www.crucell.com.