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PATH congratulates Serum Institute on Advance Market Commitment award for pneumococcal vaccine supply

June 18, 2020 by PATH

New supply agreement opens the door for pneumonia and other pneumococcal disease prevention to be more affordable and accessible for the world's most resource-strapped countries.

Seattle, Washington, June 18, 2020—PATH welcomes Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s recent announcement of a new supply agreement awarded to Serum Institute of India, Pvt. Ltd. (SIIPL) under the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for its World Health Organization prequalified pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), PNEUMOSIL®. The news marks an important milestone in the global fight against pneumococcal disease—a leading cause of severe childhood pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis—by enhancing pneumococcal vaccine supply, affordability, and availability for Gavi-supported low-income countries.

The AMC is an innovative financing mechanism that supports vaccine manufacturers to produce and supply suitable and affordable vaccines for the world's most underserved countries. The announcement reports that UNICEF, in its capacity as Gavi’s procurement agency, has confirmed its entry into a new supply agreement with SIIPL to supply 10 million doses of PNEUMOSIL® annually for Gavi country use over the next 10 years. The total amounts to 100 million doses, and SIIPL will accordingly receive $75 million in AMC funds. The reduced PNEUMOSIL® price to Gavi under the AMC agreement (or tail price) is US$2 per dose, which is nearly a third lower than the previous lowest PCV tail price of $2.90 per dose.

“Enhancing supply of PNEUMOSIL® will help meet the growing demand for PCVs, provide more pneumococcal disease prevention options for countries, and make PCV access easier for children who need it most.”
— Dr. Deborah Atherly, PATH

PNEUMOSIL® is expected to provide similar protection against pneumococcal disease as other PCVs routinely given to children around the world. It is, however, designed to be considerably more affordable and targets the 10 kinds of the pneumococcus bacterium most relevant in low- and middle-income countries. The vaccine was developed by SIIPL in collaboration with PATH. PATH's work was funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“PCV price has historically been a major barrier to sustainable access for many countries, which is why PNEUMOSIL® is so important for protecting children from pneumonia and other deadly or debilitating pneumococcal diseases like meningitis, sepsis, and middle ear infections,” says Dr. Mark Alderson, director of PATH’s pneumococcal vaccine project. “PNEUMOSIL®’s market entry marks a new era by offering a new vaccine in the same class as other PCVs at considerably less cost—providing savings that countries and donors can repurpose for other health priorities.”

“We’re thrilled at the news of AMC support for this vaccine,” adds Dr. Deborah Atherly, Global Head, Policy, Access, and Introduction for PATH’s Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access. “Enhancing supply of PNEUMOSIL® will help meet the growing demand for PCVs, provide more pneumococcal disease prevention options for countries, and make PCV access easier for children who need it most.”

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