Partnership objective

GENDRIVAX concentrates on vaccines for two major diseases of Africa: Infections caused by Salmonella enterica serovars (especially invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella infections) and bacterial meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis.

Through its affiliation with NVGH, the project has access to an impressive array of high technology equipment and expertise. Through its affiliation with NVGH, the project has access to an impressive array of high technology equipment and expertise. Copyright GENDRIVAX

What are the health needs and challenges?

Infectious diseases impose the major health burden in low-and-middle income countries. There is a desperate need for effective, affordable and accessible vaccines to combat these neglected infectious diseases that affect over two billion people in the developing world. Novartis is committed to improving global health and the Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health (NVGH) is an important part of that strategy as they discover and develop vaccines specifically addressing the needs of developing countries.

A major bottleneck in the path to new vaccines is the expertise and facilities needed to turn a laboratory concept into high quality vaccines that are both clinically effective and economically viable for manufacture. The role of GENRIVAX is to bridge that gap by applying expertise to the translational research required to move a laboratory concept through development to the proof of concept in the clinic and then transferring this knowledge to the eventual manufacturer.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

The aim of the GENDRIVAX (GENome-DRIVen Vaccine) scientific program is to develop novel prophylactic vaccines against invasive bacterial diseases caused by Salmonella and Neisseria.

GENDRIVAX is a collaboration between the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (WTSI), the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (STPHI), the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and the Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health (NVGH).

These four partners bring together academic innovation with industrial expertise through joint training and exchange initiatives.

GENDRIVAX states that central to its progam is the concept that bacteria that infect humans are under strong selection pressure and that this has major impacts on vaccine strategies:

  • Vaccines design needs to address issues of antigenic diversity to ensure that a novel vaccine covers the major circulating serotypes of the pathogens.
  • Since target of protective immunity are under strong pressure, understanding the diversity of pathogen components gives important information about targets of natural immunity.
  • A successful vaccine will put new selection pressure on pathogens and understanding the population dynamics of pathogens will help design vaccines that minimize the risk of the emergence of vaccine resistant pathogens.

Through its affiliation with NVGH, the project has access to an impressive array of high technology equipment and expertise. Of particular relevance is the proteomics facility that enables detailed analysis of proteins present in OMB and the FACS facility for analysing the binding of antibodies generated against OMB to the bacterial surface. Novartis Vaccines also provides the facilities required for daily operation including extensive computer facilities, library facilities, and the human resource facility with dedicated staff to facilitate exchange programs including obtaining visas, assistance with housing, language training and more.

On 2 March 2015, Novartis announced the completion of a series of transactions with GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK), including the divestiture of the Novartis non-influenza Vaccines business to GSK.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Novartis

Partner(s) Kenya Medical Research Institute, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), Wellcome Trust, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Women and Children's Health, Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Disease(s) Children's Health, Meningitis C, Typhoid Fever

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Technology Transfer - Scientific Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing, Prevention Programs - Vaccines, Research & Development - Development of Treatments, Research & Development - Operations Research, Research & Development - Pediatric R&D

Targeted Population(s) Children, General population, Men, Women

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific, Europe & Central Asia, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East & North Africa, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 137

Country(ies) Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, French Guiana, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, West Bank and Gaza, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Start Date 2011

More information GENDRIVAX

Completed date 2015