The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently awarded a second Small Business Innovation Research contract to Meridian Life Science, Inc. to create a rotavirus vaccine.
“Meridian is pleased to have been selected by the CDC to receive this SBIR II award and appreciate the CDC’s continued confidence in our ability to deliver a novel process for rotavirus vaccine production,” Vice President of Research and Development Dr. Victor Van Cleave said. “Rotavirus is a serious problem globally for infants, and we feel honored to be a part of this program to assist in the eradication of this challenging health issue."
Rotavirus causes severe watery diarrhea, vomiting, fever and abdominal pain. In babies and young children, it can lead to dehydration. Worldwide, rotavirus causes more than 500,000 deaths each year in children younger than 5.
"The project is an excellent fit for Meridian’s core virology and virus-based product manufacturing capabilities," Van Cleave said. "The earlier SBIR I award from the CDC set the stage for this latest stage of development and our scientists are proud to be a part of an effort that could significantly reduce the incidence and severity of rotavirus infections in children.”
Meridian will focus on optimization of growth and yield of the virus in cell culture, in addition to developing and characterizing a purification process and ultimately, formulation, inactivation and filling of the vaccine.