Bangkok — BioNet-Asia Co. Ltd organized the first International Symposium on Advances in Pertussis Immunisation in Bangkok, Thailand. The Symposium was attended by more than 300 international and Thai experts on pertussis vaccination as well as public health stakeholders, involving expert presentations and session chairing by world leaders on pertussis immunization including Prof. Stanley Plotkin (USA), Dr. Nicole Guiso (France), Prof. Terry Nolan (Australia), Prof. Keith Klugman (USA) and prominent public health leaders from Thailand including Prof. Teerapong Tantawichien and Prof. Tawee Chotpitayasundondh. The symposium coincided with BioNet's 15th Anniversary, and the recent Marketing Approval of two of its new recombinant pertussis booster vaccines.
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In his keynote presentation, Emeritus Prof. Stanley Plotkin (University of Pennsylvania, USA) discussed the reappearance of pertussis disease (whooping cough) in countries around the world and the need for new vaccine strategies and new vaccines to address this global problem. "The availability of a monovalent acellular pertussis vaccine could provide the medical community with a new way to approach pertussis immunization, especially in adolescents and pregnant women to protect their newborns," said Prof Plotkin.
Western countries like Australia and USA that have been using acellular pertussis vaccines in their immunization programs since the late 90's, have turned to recommending repeated pertussis booster vaccinations throughout life to control the spread of pertussis disease in their countries. "The protection induced by pertussis vaccines and infection is short-lived, so by keeping vaccine coverage high and revaccinating different age groups, France manages to decrease the incidence of the less than 6 months of age since 1996," Dr Nicole Guiso said, explaining why France still observes cycles of the disease but their intensity seems lower that those seen in other European countries.
While it is mainly western countries that are reporting a rise in pertussis disease, the pertussis situation in low- and middle income countries (using whole cell pertussis vaccines) is largely unknown. "What we need are data from countries with a high uptake of whole-cell pertussis and this requires reliable surveillance systems to detect the burden of pertussis in neonatal deaths," said Prof Keith Klugman, Director of Pneumonia at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Symposium was a perfect moment for BioNet to share data with the audience on two of its new pertussis vaccines, Pertagen™ and Boostagen™, produced using recombinant DNA technology, for which BioNet received Marketing Authorization Approval (MAA) from the Thai Food and Drug Administration for active booster immunization against pertussis in individuals from the age of 11 years onwards late December 2016.
In her presentation Director of Clinical Development Dr. Simonetta Viviani (BioNet, Thailand) showed that in a Phase II/III clinical trial BioNet's pertussis booster vaccines induced higher antibody responses compared to one of the currently available vaccines. "Other studies evaluating Pertagen™ are planned in other countries.
For example, a Phase II study is currently underway in Switzerland," BioNet's CEO Pham Hong Thai announced. Emeritus Prof. Piyasakol Sakolsatayadam, Minister of Public Health, Thailand, congratulated BioNet on this achievement: "I am very proud that a Thai company is making such a significant contribution to the pertussis world agenda."
BioNet-Asia offers access to vaccine and technology through biotech innovation and partnering networks. BioNet has built several international partnerships fostering vaccine self-reliance and leading to the supply of billions of doses of vaccines worldwide. BioNet has also a broad pipeline of vaccines in R&D and clinical stages.
BioNet-Asia's pertussis vaccine is produced from a new proprietary Bordetella pertussis strain expressing genetically detoxified Pertussis Toxin (PTgen). The unique properties of BioNet PTgen enable the vaccine to induce superior anti-PT immune response. BioNet-Asia successfully demonstrated in a Phase II/III trial that its acellular pertussis vaccine (containing PTgen and FHA), as a monovalent or in combination, could significantly boost immunity against pertussis in adolescents and adults. For additional information, please visit www.bionet-asia.com.
Laurent Dapremont, Director Strategic Business Development, BioNet-Asia Co. Ltd. +66 (2) 361 firstname.lastname@example.org