Meningitis Vaccine Partnership with Brazil

Partnership objective

Ensure Brazilian self-sufficiency in the production of in meningococcal C conjugated vaccine for public vaccination programs.

The goal of this alliance is to supply Menjugate® meningococcal C conjugate vaccine for Brazil’s National Immunization Program (PNI). The goal of this alliance is to supply Menjugate® meningococcal C conjugate vaccine for Brazil’s National Immunization Program (PNI). Copyright IFPMA

What are the health needs and challenges?

Meningococcal meningitis is a bacterial form of meningitis, a serious infection of the meninges that affects the brain membrane. It can cause severe brain damage and is fatal in 50% of cases if untreated.

Several different bacteria can cause meningitis. Neisseria meningitidis is the one with the potential to cause large epidemics. Twelve serogroups of N. meningitidis have been identified, six of which (A, B, C, W135, X and Y) can cause epidemics.

Meningococcal serogroup C is the most prevalent in Brazil, accounting for approximately 67% of the cases in the country. In total, approximately 3,000 cases of meningococcal disease are reported annually in Brazil.

The Novartis meningococcal C conjugate vaccine Menjugate® is indicated for the active immunization of children, adolescents and adults for the prevention of invasive menigococcal disease caused by serogroup c.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

In September 2009, Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics and Ezequiel Dias Foundation (FUNED) signed a strategic alliance. The goal of this alliance is to supply Menjugate® meningococcal C conjugate vaccine for Brazil’s National Immunization Program (PNI).

This project began with Novartis supplying Menjugate to the state of Minas Gerais. In July 2010, it was included in the National Immunization Program. It has been structured to ensure in the short and long term the vaccination against Meningitis C of all Brazilian children up to two years of age.

Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics will produce the vaccine during the initial phases of the project while a complete technology transfer to FUNED is conducted. This will allow for production of the vaccine while technology transfer is ongoing.

This partnership enables supply of an agreed number of vaccine doses per year, which can help protect children from this devastating disease.

This partnership will ultimately make Brazil self-sufficient in meningococcal C conjugated vaccine.

The project duration is 5 years, with the option to extend it, if justified. At the end of the contract, NVD will have transferred to FUNED all production steps ensuring self-sufficiency.

To address the challanges of complexity of the technology and multicultural nature of the partnership, a global project management structure has been implemented for optimum interaction among the countries involved and to ensure fast decision and continuous learning processes derived from the technology transfer.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

Since the start of the program, the partnership has delivered over 20 million doses of the vaccine to the National Immunization Program.

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) Brazilian Ministry of Health, Ezequiel Dias Foundation

Type of Partner(s) Government, NGOs

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

Disease(s) Children's Health, Meningitis C

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Differential Pricing, Availability of Treatment - Technology Transfer - Manufacturing and Entrepreneurial Know-How, Prevention Programs - Vaccines

Targeted Population(s) Children

Region(s) Latin America & Caribbean

Number of Countries 1

Country(ies) Brazil

Start Date 2009

Completed date 2015