“This is a job for vaccines, not antivirals”
“Prevention is more important than treatment.”
These are paraphrased statements from overtly bearish individuals towards SIGA. Of course, a mixed response of treatment and vaccine prophylaxis is usually seen in outbreaks of this scale (when it is possible).
That said, the complexity and difficulty of scaling a vaccine are starting to show. Bavarian Nordic, a key vaccine maker for the prevention of Monkeypox in this outbreak, says they are having difficulties keeping up with demand.
“Demand keeps rising and it’s no longer certain that we can continue to meet the demand we’re facing even with the upgrade of our existing manufacturing site in Denmark.” (Bloomberg)
-Rolf Sorenson, Vice President, Bavarian Nordic
Considering we are in the relatively early stages of this outbreak, with significant proliferation and expansion in cases to continue, it seems unlikely vaccines will be able to keep up with demand, in the medium term.
Discussions are ongoing regarding tech transfers. However, this process is typically slow. Furthermore, new vaccine trials, for example by Moderna, will not help meet demand before the later stages of this pandemic.
With this in mind, SIGA, via their anti-viral TPOXX, is in a position to capture significant market share for the treatment, and potentially prophylaxis of Monkeypox in the foreseeable future, as, scaling the production of a small molecule drug is likely easier than a vaccine.
“The good news is that it is a small molecule drug; the supply chain is in the US; we have ongoing production, and we have inventory”.
“There will be a lead time depending on the volume of ramp-up. We can’t do it overnight, but we are in a good position.”
– Dr.Phillip Gomez, CEO of SIGA Technologies