Sinovac Biotech, Ltd., said on Monday that it entered into an agreement with the Institute for Translational Vaccinology (Intravacc) to develop the Sabin Inactivated Polio Vaccine (sIPV) and distribute it in China.
Sinovac said it will conduct clinical trials, seek regulatory approval and launch the new vaccine. It also agreed to maintain a supply of the vaccine in order for it to be introduced to surrounding countries in meaningful quantities.
The oral polio vaccine (OPV) has been widely used to inoculate against polio. The vaccine is safe and effective, but uses a live attenuated form of poliovirus to initiate an immune response. In rare cases, the vaccine has caused paralysis.
To eliminate the risk of vaccine-associated paralytic polio and circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus, OPV will be phase out of routine vaccination programs and IPV will be introduced in its place.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is working to introduce an IPV to 126 countries by the end of 2015.
Sinovac said the Sabin IPV is safer and less expensive to produce than the Salk IPV, which is already available.
"Polio represents significant unmet medical need in China and other developing countries," Sinovac President and CEO Weidong Yin said. "By moving forward with the clinical development of sIPV with the objective of producing this vaccine in China, Sinovac is helping keep China polio-free and achieve a lasting polio-free world, free of all polio paralytic cases."