Meridian receives CDC contract for rotavirus vaccine R&D

Meridian Life Sciences, Inc., announced on Thursday that it was chosen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a rotavirus vaccine.

Rotavirus is a disease that can cause gastroenteritis, diarrhea, vomiting, fever and abdominal pain in its victims. It is the leading cause of severe diarrhea among children younger than five years of age and is responsible for more than 500,000 global deaths each year in this age group alone.

"Meridian is pleased to have been selected by the CDC to receive this award," Meridian Life Science Vice President of Research and Development 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."

The award will be funded through a Small Business Innovation Research contract for an inactivated rotavirus vaccine. The initial SBIR will fund R&D and may also fund the manufacturing of the vaccine.

"...This project was an excellent fit for Meridian's core virology and virus based product manufacturing capabilities," Van Cleave said. "We have previously partnered with scientists from the CDC to transfer in the methodologies for growth and propagation of this virus and will now collaborate with their scientists to ensure the successful and timely development of a rotavirus vaccine manufacturing process. Meridian and our scientists are proud to be a part of this development effort that could significantly impact the incidence and severity of rotavirus infections in children."