Altimmune (ALT) Expands AdCOVID Manufacturing Collaboration with Lonza
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Altimmune, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALT), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has expanded its previously-announced AdCOVID manufacturing collaboration with Lonza. Under the expanded agreement, Lonza will commission a dedicated manufacturing suite for clinical and commercial production of AdCOVID, Altimmune’s single-dose intranasal vaccine candidate for COVID-19, at its facility near Houston, Texas.
“Manufacturing capacity for COVID-19 vaccines has been severely constrained, and this limitation has presented considerable challenges for vaccine developers,” said Dr. Vyjayanthi Krishnan, Ph.D., Vice President of Product Development for Altimmune. “By expanding our Lonza collaboration and commissioning our own dedicated manufacturing suite, we are building extra capacity and redundancy into our manufacturing to support potential late-stage clinical trials with AdCOVID and potential future commercial supply. Lonza continues to be an outstanding partner in this mission, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to further our relationship with this world class team.”
Alberto Santagostino, SVP, Head of Cell and Gene Technologies for Lonza, commented, “Altimmune’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate could be a complete game-changer in the fight against COVID-19. Our reinforced commitment is to enable the team at Altimmune to scale-up production as needed and deliver vaccines at a global scale when ready.”
AdCOVID is a COVID-19 vaccine candidate that is administered via nasal spray. In preclinical studies, AdCOVID was shown to activate systemic immunity (neutralizing antibodies and T cell responses) and mucosal immunity in the respiratory tract. Activation of mucosal immunity may prevent both SARS-CoV-2 virus infection and transmission. In preclinical studies, AdCOVID stimulated a 29-fold increase in mucosal IgA, well above the level associated with protection in clinical studies of influenza.
“We recently commenced our AdCOVID Phase 1 clinical trial and anticipate having a data readout in the second quarter of 2021,” said Vipin K. Garg, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer at Altimmune. “If the clinical data from our Phase 1 trial and subsequent clinical trials validate our preclinical observations, and AdCOVID is successfully commercialized, we believe that it could become an important new option for vaccination against COVID-19, offering the simplicity of nasal administration, potential ease of deployment and storage, and the potential to block viral transmission.”
Based on clinical experience with Altimmune’s vaccine platform technology, Altimmune anticipates that AdCOVID could provide immunity of up to a year or more following a single dose with the potential for a favorable tolerability profile. Vaccine stability is critical for efficient vaccine deployment and based on data from Altimmune’s other intranasal vaccine candidates, AdCOVID is expected to be shipped without cold chain logistics, permitting common refrigerated storage at community-based vaccination centers without the need for specialized freezer storage.
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