An international collaboration between Vaxent, a Memphis-based early stage vaccine development company in the Memphis Bioworks Foundation Incubator, and The Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise Inc. (PREVENT), a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) in Saskatchewan, has put a vaccine for group A streptococcus (Strep-A) back on the path for potential commercialization. Under the terms of the agreement, PREVENT receives the exclusive worldwide license to progress vaccine candidates through developing vaccine formulations, manufacturing, completing preclinical studies and conducting clinical trials. Both parties will participate in the commercialization process under a cost-sharing and revenue-sharing arrangement.
Group A streptococcus is a significant cause of pharyngitis or “strep throat” in children, as well as other more serious diseases such as streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, necrotizing fasciitis (so-called “flesh-eating disease”) and acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. There are 11 million physician office visits for sore throat or suspected strep throat in the U.S. each year, with 15 to 30 percent of those cases confirmed positive for group A streptococcus. The total cost (direct health care and indirect productivity loss) of these infections is estimated to be $2 billion annually in the U.S., alone.