The contract research development and manufacturing company (CDMO) Lonza Pharma & Biotech has been working with SutroVax since 2016, Karen Fallen, VP, business unit head, clinical development and manufacturing, Lonza, told us.
SutroVax's lead candidate is a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) designed to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease caused by Streptococcus pneumonia. The biopharmaceutical company recently raised $85m in Series C financing to advance development.
“As Lonza and SutroVax’s partnership moves forward, we will continue to work closely together and ensure alignment on process and conjugate development, as well as microbial manufacturing scale-up for drug substance at Lonza's Visp, Switzerland site,” Fallen explained.
Lonza will advance the potentially best-in-class broad-spectrum PCV candidate through mid-stage clinical development. The CDMO also will provide formulation development and drug product manufacturing, Fallen added, which will ensure “a commercially viable process is in place for future product needs.”
Fallen said together the companies have “an opportunity to improve on the current standard of care for prevention of pneumococcal disease, and potentially introduce a truly transformative alternative that can replace existing treatments for both infants and adults.”
The currently market-leading vaccine – a 13-valent PCV, Prevnar 13 – has worldwide sales of approximately $6bn annually.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 900,000 Americans suffer from pneumococcal pneumonia each year, with up to 400,000 hospitalizations occurring annually.
Approximately 18,000 older adults die each year from pneumococcal disease in the US, according to the CDC.