TEMASEK Life Sciences Ventures (TLV) this month announced a joint venture to develop a pandemic flu vaccine with a United States biotech firm.
TLV, the commercialisation arm of Temasek Life Sciences Laboratories, will work with Maryland-deadquartered Emergent BioSolutions to develop, manufacture and commercialise the flu vaccine.
The vaccine will target a number of H5 influenza strains, which circulate in bird populations like poultry and can be transmitted to humans.
In particular, the H5N1 flu virus has been singled out as a potential pandemic if it mutates to spread easily from person to person. Sixty per cent of people infected by the virus do not survive.
The Singapore-based joint venture, called EPIC BIO, aims to begin manufacturing next year and start clinical trials in 2012.
On the basic research front, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratories last week signed a memorandum of
understanding with Japan’s National Institute for Basic Biology for a five-year tie-up to study plants and animals.
The institutes will conduct joint research, host visiting researchers and graduate exchange students, and focus on projects involving model organisms such as fruit flies and zebrafish.