Amid some nervousness over a monkeypox outbreak this year, Bavarian Nordic A/S announced that it has a new supply contract for its smallpox vaccine meant to help those at risk of monkeypox in the short or medium term.
The country to benefit from that contract remains unidentified at this time. However, the disease – a rare and weaker relative of smallpox – recently produced several hundred cases spread across 16 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). However, it is endemic to four of these: Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nigeria. Several cases had already appeared in the United States as of this week, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting nine in seven states as of Thursday.
The disease is typically spread through contact with infected animals but can also move by close and prolonged contact with infected people.
“The current monkeypox outbreak, which is now affecting countries globally, calls for a swift and coordinated response from health authorities, and we are pleased to assist another country with supply of vaccines to fulfill a growing demand,” Paul Chaplin, president and CEO of Bavarian Nordic, said. “Building on our vast experience and relations with governments in the procurement of vaccines for their national preparedness, we have rapidly adapted to this unprecedented situation and are working closely with other governments to make vaccines available as fast as possible to mitigate the situation.”
Deliveries under the company’s new contract should begin immediately. The vaccine has already been approved for use against monkeypox by both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada. It is the only vaccine approved for these purposes in their territories. It has been approved for use against smallpox by adults in the European Union since 2013.
Given the uncertainty of global events, the company noted that it is moving to guarantee a sufficient supply of the Modified Vaccinia Ankara-Bavarian Nordic (MVA-BN) vaccine to meet growing demand. This has positively impacted its economic predictions.