Cambridge start-up ImmBio is attempting to go head-to-head with Pfizer with its new vaccine PnuBioVax, which is aimed at eradicating streptococcus pneumonia, reported The Telegraph.
According to the news source, PnuBioVax, which is about to enter clinical testing for the first time and could come to market within the next five years, may eventually rival Pfizer's 13-valent Prevenar.
Pfizer's product, marketed as Prevnar in the US, costs around 100 pounds per course, with 6.4 billion courses of the vaccine sold each year, the news source said.
However, ImmBio claims PnuBioVax uses a single protein-based vaccine, which is said to be less expensive to produce and can guard against multiple current strains, as well as future mutations.
ImmBio chief executive Graham Clarke said that it was only worth going up against large pharmaceutical companies with "game-changer" products, adding "we are making a product that works, works better than the current product, and is cheaper."
Clarke, who worked at GlaxoSmithKline before joining ImmBio, further remarked that "[big pharma] has huge sales forces, big marketing, efficient manufacturing and can industrialise their R&D, but it's still true that smaller, more flexible, agile companies have a competitive advantage."
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