EIB supports Bavarian Nordic’s development of Ebola and cancer vaccines

Prostvac is the company's leading targeted immunotherapy candidate

Following a grant of €50m from the European Investment Bank (EIB), biopharmaceutical company Bavarian Nordic is accelerating the development of its Ebola vaccine.

The finance will also support research into vaccines for treating other infectious diseases and multiple cancers.

Paul Chaplin, President and CEO of Bavarian Nordic, said the EIB loan provides 'financial flexibility' for the company to advance the development of novel vaccine candidates using its MVA-BN technology, a 'robust and adaptable vaccine platform suitable for addressing a wide variety of infectious diseases and cancers'.

The company’s research supported by the EIB will take place at its facilities in Denmark and Germany. The work includes the pre-clinical and clinical development of several novel vaccines in the infectious disease and oncology areas. It will also support the production of the batch materials needed to conduct the clinical trials. These are particularly relevant for the Ebola vaccine, as the manufacture of two million doses is necessary for the second phase of the clinical trials.

Pre-clinical trials of the Ebola vaccine with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have shown 100% protection against the highly virulent Ebola Zaire strain, which is responsible for the recent outbreak.

The prostate cancer vaccine Prostvac is Bavarian Nordic’s leading targeted immunotherapy candidate. In clinical trials it demonstrated a higher efficacy and lower side effects than other treatments such as chemotherapy. These results have led to a licensing agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb that will provide Bavarian Nordic with potential milestone payments of more than US$700m.

EIB Vice-President Jonathan Taylor said the funding for Bavarian Nordic enables the bank to address the high unmet medical need caused by a pandemic such as Ebola.

'The EIB sends a clear signal that the international community cannot abandon West Africa at this time of need and must continue to demonstrate firm engagement,' he said.

'We are also delighted that we are supporting the first market entry of a European company into the cancer treatment vaccine arena.'

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