Sinovac Biotech receives government grant for EV71 vaccine project

Sinovac Biotech, Ltd., said on Thursday that it received a grant worth approximately $3.2 million to construct a production facility dedication to Enterovirus 71 vaccine against hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

The grant was approved by China's Ministry of Finance, National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and National Health and Family Planning Commission.

Because HFMD is endemic in China with more than 9 millions cases reported since 2007, and the government is focused on developing biotechnology, the government selected Sinovac's production project to receive support from the Dedicated Funds for Strategic New Emerging Industry Development.

"This epidemic situation represents a significant unmet medical need for the EV71 vaccine," Sinovac President and CEO Weidong Yin said. "With the government support for building out the dedicated production capacity, Sinovac is poised to provide the EV71 vaccine to help address this potentially fatal childhood disease for which no commercialized vaccine and no EV71 specific treatment exist. The grant provides the confidence and encouragement that EV71 vaccine is urgently needed and has attracted the attention from the Chinese government. We look forward to working with the regulatory agencies to complete the vaccine registration process as soon as possible."

A portion of the grant will be funded in installments within the year and the rest will be administered when criteria are met.

Sinovac completed Phase III trials for EV71 and reported approximately 95 percent efficacy. The company has filed a new drug application, which is under review at the Centers for Drug Evaluation.