NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE) — Pfizer Inc. has announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) has prequalified its four-dose, multi-dose vial (MDV) presentation of Prevenar 13 (pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine [13 – valent, adsorbed]). WHO prequalification allows for the global use of Prevenar 13 MDV by United Nations agencies and countries worldwide that require WHO prequalification.
“It is unconscionable that children in developing countries are still falling ill, or dying, by the hundreds of thousands every year from preventable diseases like invasive pneumococcal disease and meningitis,” said Orin Levine, director of the vaccine delivery team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We need a range of tools to save children’s lives and welcome advances like this one that help improve our ability to prevent life-threatening invasive pneumococcal disease.”
“We are pleased that the WHO has prequalified the MDV presentation of Prevenar 13, another crucial step in providing broader global access to this important vaccine for those who need it,” said Susan Silbermann, President and General Manager, Pfizer Vaccines. “Pfizer is committed to continued innovation aimed at meeting the challenges of the developing world and helping to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease by providing a path for children in resource-limited countries to access a reliable supply of Prevenar 13.”
The MDV presentation of Prevenar 13 offers significant benefits to developing countries, including a 75 percent reduction in:
- Temperature-controlled supply chain requirements,
- United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) shipping costs, and
- Storage requirements at the national, regional, district, and community levels.
The Prevenar 13 MDV presentation includes the preservative 2-Phenoxyethanol, which enables use of the vaccine over a 28-day period following its first use, provided it is stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius. This presentation has been approved in the European Union following the positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in April 2016.
“It is encouraging to see vaccine manufacturers committed to addressing the unique conditions and challenges experienced by those of us working in communities whose health systems are still developing,” said Dawda Sowe, Program Manager, Expanded Program on Immunization, The Gambia. “The MDV presentation is expected to aid in increasing availability of Prevenar 13, thereby allowing us to help protect more infants and children against invasive pneumococcal disease.”
The prequalified MDV presentation is expected to be introduced under the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) program in early 2017, for shipment to countries supported by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi). In January 2015, during Gavi’s pledging conference, Pfizer began to prepare for the potential introduction of Prevenar 13 in the MDV presentation by announcing a 20 cent reduction in cost, from $3.30 per-dose to $3.10 per-dose, in its MDV per-dose price for Gavi-eligible countries. Once the MDV presentation is introduced under the AMC, this pricing is expected to be available to all Gavi-eligible countries. In addition, expanded availability will enable Gavi-graduated countries to access the same pricing until 2025.