Mumbai-based Ajanta Pharma has tied up with the Canadian vaccine maker, Medicago Inc, to commercialise Medicago's pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines in India and other territories.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) on this was signed between the two companies today. Under the terms, the parties will evaluate and select an optimal deal structure, with the objective of formalising a definitive agreement on this within 90 days, said sources.
Animal trials of Medicago's vaccine candidate for the Influenza-A (H1N1) virus has showed that a single dose of five micrograms induced a positive immune response against a new emerging strain of this virus in 100 per cent of vaccinated animals. The vaccine will soon move into human clinical trials, said sources.
Medicago Inc works on its proprietary Virus-Like Particle-based technologies to develop vaccines.
The company can deliver a vaccine for testing in about a month after the identification and reception of genetic sequences from a pandemic strain.
At present the World Health Organisation, in association with over 100 companies and research institutions globally, is trying to develop vaccines for the pandemic swine flu virus, which has affected over 1.62 lakh people in different parts of the world. Multinational companies such as Novartis are working to launch the first vaccine within a few months.
In India, biotech companies Serum Institute of India, Panacea Biotech and Bharat Biotech are also trying to develop the vaccine.
"We are delighted to be collaborating with Ajanta and it is consistent with our strategy to provide countries worldwide with a rapid, affordable and effective solution for the supply of vaccines within their borders," said Andy Sheldon, President and CEO of Medicago, in an announcement. Officials of Ajanta Pharma were not available for comments.