Monkeypox outbreak: Many countries approach Bavarian Nordic for vaccine

Monkeypox outbreak: Many countries approach Bavarian Nordic for vaccine.

TGO: Danish biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic, the only producer of a vaccine approved against monkeypox, has been approached by many countries keen on procuring vaccines against the disease which has spread to nearly 20 countries.

“Many countries have approached us to buy vaccines,” Bavarian Nordic investor relations official Rolf Sorensen told Reuters on Tuesday. He declined to identify the countries or say how many.Global health officials have sounded the alarm over rising cases in Europe and elsewhere of monkeypox, a type of viral infection more common to west and central Africa.

Germany on Tuesday announced it had ordered 40,000 doses of Bavarian’s Imvanex vaccine to be ready to vaccinate contacts of those infected with monkeypox if an outbreak in Germany becomes more severe.

Bavarian Nordic was not able to confirm whether it had entered any deal with Germany, Sorensen said. Its vaccine is branded Jynneos in the United States where it is approved for use against smallpox and monkeypox. In Europe, the vaccine is approved only against smallpox, but has been provided for off-label use against monkeypox.

The firm would “probably” apply for a label extension with the European Union’s drug watchdog (EMA) to also include monkeypox, Sorensen said.

On Tuesday, authorities in 19 countries, where monkeypox is not endemic, investigated 237 suspected and confirmed cases of the virus since early May.

Bavarian Nordic has an annual production capacity of 30 million vaccine doses and has received order requests ranging from a few hundred to several thousand doses and even larger “significant orders,” Sorensen said.Bavarian Nordic at present sees no need to expand production capacity, he said. The firm is currently in discussions with prospective buyers.

“We try to help all the countries that have an urgent need due to outbreaks, and then we also try to help the countries that want to stockpile.”