Infections caused by the Respiratory Syncitial Virus (RSV) are the second cause of infant mortality (particularly babies and prematurely born infants) globally. According to data from the WHO, after malaria, RSV infection is the second cause of death in children during the first lifeyear.
Palivizumab is an antiviral monoclonal antibody (mAb) that has been proven effective in the prevention of RSV, especially in high-risk children. However, its high costs (US$ 9600/per season in the USA, and €5000 in Europe) make this biotherapeutic product unaffordable for children in LMICs, which are the areas where the virus is most prevalent and the associated mortality rates are the highest. In collaboration with a biosimilar manufacturer, UCAB developed a collaborative model to facilitate development and manufacturing of palivizumab in LMICs.
The biosimilar for palivizumab will be developed by UCAB and the pharmaceutical company mAbxience. They will then transfer the necessary technology and knowledge to the other partners in the consortium (Libbs, Medigen and Spimaco).