Novartis Vaccines – A Global Force
The Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics division is a leader in providing products to fight more than 20 vaccine-preventable viral and bacterial diseases; the only thing better than finding a cure for a disease is preventing that disease in the first place.
Novartis Vaccines is the world’s fifth-largest manufacturer of vaccines.
The Novartis Vaccines history includes legends of the twentieth-century vaccinology such as Emil von Behring, who won the 1901 Nobel Prize for his development of serum therapies against diphtheria and tetanus, and founded the German vaccines firm Behringwerke.
Novartis Vaccines’ current head of Research, Dr Rino Rappuoli, is a world leading innovator in vaccination research.
He is the pioneer of one of the most recent innovations in vaccination research – reverse vaccinology – which has helped create new solutions to finding candidate vaccines for Diseases, such as, Menigococcal serogroup B which in the past had evaded scientists using more traditional methods.
Achievement through Novartis Vaccines’ approach – tackling meningitis.
Meningococcal meningitis kills 5-10% of all those who develop this condition and bacterial meningitis can result in permanent disability in 10-20% of survivors.
One of the most disturbing aspects of meningococcal infection is the speed with which it progresses. Meningococcal infection is characterized by high fever, vomiting and confusion, which can lead in just a few hours to death. Deaths have been reported in less than four hours. If untreated, up to 50% of cases result in death.
The Novartis vaccine Menjugate® induces protective antibodies against the serogroup ‘C’ strain of the disease and was a key part of the vaccination programme in the UK where cases have fallen by more than 90%.
WHO estimates that a mass vaccination campaign could avoid 70% of cases of meningococcal disease.
Novartis Vaccines is focused on developing vaccines against the five key subgroups of the meningococcal bacteria that cause meningitis and septicemia – A,B,C,W, and Y
2 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/meningococcal meningitis