Looking to expand its potential market for prostate cancer immunotherapy candidate Prostvac, Bavarian Nordic has announced that it's beginning a Phase II trial for its vaccine in early-stage prostate cancer, representing another possible avenue to broaden the candidate's reach.
Although the waning Ebola outbreak had Big Pharmas struggling to find volunteers for their Ebola vaccine trials, two new Phase II trials are going forward. GlaxoSmithKline will take its candidate to Senegal, while Johnson & Johnson and partner Bavarian Nordic will test their vaccine in France and the U.K.
On Tuesday, the U.S. government placed a large new order for Bavarian Nordic's smallpox vaccine while the company continues work to improve its formulation to offer more stockpiling flexibility.
Bavarian Nordic has downplayed its interest in becoming the latest European biotech to be scooped up by a deep-pocketed suitor. The vaccine player has regained some of its luster over the past year through deals with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson, but has no desire to cash in on its moment in the limelight.
Despite the M&A wave across biopharma that doesn't show signs of slowing, Bavarian Nordic's top dog has said his company isn't interested in getting involved.
The threat of a smallpox outbreak is an ongoing concern that's helped Bavarian Nordic pay its bills through the years. With an announcement Wednesday trumpeting two successful late-stage tests, the company has reason to believe it can advance its business with smallpox vaccine Imvamune.
Bavarian Nordic is the latest company to benefit from the European Investment Bank's newfound willingness to finance drug development, snagging access to up to €50 million ($56 million) in loans for its Ebola and immunotherapy programs.
After a four-year drought, Bavarian Nordic has finally had its first full year of profit. The company announced Wednesday that it had a full-year net profit of 25.9 Danish kroner ($3.72 million) and that it expects 1.1 billion kroner ($159 million) in revenue for 2015.
After a handful of large-scale monotherapy flops for cancer vaccines, many companies now think pairing them up as part of immunotherapy combos might be the way to go. And immuno-oncology pioneer Bristol-Myers Squibb just made a big bet that that's the case.
Bristol-Myers Squibb has swooped in with $60 million upfront to gain an option on Bavarian Nordic's Phase III therapeutic prostate cancer vaccine Prostvac, ready to shell out an additional $915 million-plus in milestones if it takes the next step to license and ultimately commercialize the therapy.