Sinovac Hopes to Begin Mumps Vaccine Trial

| About: Sinovac Biotech, (SVA)

Sinovac Biotech Ltd. (NSDQ: SVA) said its subsidiary Sinovac Dalian, a JV formed in January 2010, has applied to the SFDA to begin clinical trials of a mumps vaccine. The application is the first from the JV and also the first live attenuated vaccine from Sinovac. Sinovac has vaccines for measles and rubella in the works, which it plans to combine into a measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine for government purchasing.

In January, Sinovac paid 60 million RMB ($8.8 million) for a 30% stake in the Sinovac Dalian JV. At the same time, Sinovac agreed to add another 50 million RMB ($7.5 million) in capital before the end of 2010, giving it a majority 55% ownership.

Dalian Jin Gang, Sinovac’s partner in the JV, was essentially forced to sell its facilities after the company was convicted of using an unauthorized adjuvant in its human rabies vaccine. Authorities suspended its production license as part of the punishment. For Sinovac, the JV represented an inexpensive way of expanding its production capacity. The facility has annual capacity to produce 20 million doses of vero cell cultured vaccines and 20 million doses of live attenuated vaccines.

Sinovac estimates demand for an MMR vaccine at 30 million doses annually. However, last year, the government approved and released only 12.5 million doses.

The company said its rubella vaccine is progressing through the R&D process, while it is making development plans for a measles vaccine.

Disclosure: none.