EXTON, Pa. — Biotech and vaccines company Nuron Biotech has bought rights from Pfizer for a vaccine to prevent infection by a bacteria that is a major cause of infectious disease around the world.
Nuron said that it acquired the rights to Meningitec, used to prevent invasive disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C., a major cause of diseases such as meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia. The bacteria live without causing symptoms in the nasopharynx in about 10% to 25% of the population, but may cause disease if they enter the bloodstream through the nose and throat. The bacteria is estimated to cause 500,000 cases of disease worldwide each year with a 10% to 20% fatality rate, a rate that can climb to 90% without treatment; up to 19% of survivors have hearing loss, brain damage, renal failure and limb amputations.
"Meningitec is a tremendous opportunity to expand Nuron Biotech's portfolio with a commercially successful vaccine within an established market," Nuron Biotech CEO Shankar Musunuri said. "The addition of Meningitec represents an important milestone toward bringing innovative biologics and vaccines to patients with unmet needs around the world."