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Press Release

Protein Sciences and Avanzcare Announce Licensing of Influenza Vaccines for the MENA Region

Protein Sciences
Posted on: 23 Sep 16

MERIDEN, Conn. and DOHA, Qatar, Sept. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Protein Sciences Corporation (headquarters: Meriden, CT, USA) and Avanzcare, the medical arm of Al Sawari Holding (headquarters: Doha, Qatar) announced that they have signed an agreement designating Avanzcare as the exclusive distributor of Protein Sciences' proprietary Flublok® (seasonal) and Panblok® (pandemic) influenza vaccines and potentially other vaccines to be developed in the future for certain Middle East and North Africa (MENA) markets. Under the terms of the agreement, Avanzcare will pursue registration of Flublok in all licensed countries and will initially purchase Flublok from Protein Sciences for distribution in the region.   

The MENA region represents about 6% of the total world population.  This agreement dramatically expands the global footprint of Flublok and other Protein Sciences' vaccines.

Dan Adams, Executive Chairman and Global Head of Business Development for Protein Sciences said, "Representatives from the MENA region have long been interested in Flublok and other Protein Sciences' vaccines because of Flublok's attractive product profile as a high efficacy, high purity flu vaccine.  Our platform technology that allows safe and rapid development of vaccines against viral threats in the region has also driven the interest."  He added, "Avanzcare's extensive network in the region and experience in securing regulatory approval of pharmaceutical products make it a strong partner that will allow us to reach many countries while streamlining operations."  He added, "We acknowledge and are very grateful for the role the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S Embassy in Qatar played in initiating and assisting in the successful completion of this important partnership."

Sheikh Turki Bin Faisal al Thani, Chairman for Al Sawari Holding, said, "Avanzcare is determined to make a difference on patient's daily life by ensuring access to innovative products and services that will contribute to a healthier life. Protein Science's innovative vaccines will generate significant value to our region's healthcare and above all protect our people."

Dana Shell Smith, U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar said, "We are so pleased to see another U.S. company successfully enter the Qatari market.  There are so many promising opportunities here in a variety of sectors such as biotech and healthcare and American companies like Protein Sciences are helping to pave the way towards innovative solutions."

John Youssef, General Manager of Avanzcare said, "We are pleased to associate with Protein Sciences as this partnership represents an important step for our company that is committed to constantly develop the healthcare sector and improve the quality of life in our region. Together we will be able to deliver a highly effective, pure, and safe flu vaccine, a latent need in the MENA region." 

About Protein Sciences
Protein Sciences is a vaccine development and protein production company that is dedicated to saving lives and improving health through the creation of innovative vaccines and biopharmaceu­ticals.  The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recently awarded the Company a contract that is part of the Authority's medical countermeasures against pandemic influenza and influenza strains with pandemic potential (contract number HHSO100201600005I).  Protein Sciences stands to receive up to $610 million through 2021 if BARDA exercises all options.     

About Avanzcare
Avanzcare is a Qatari company serving the healthcare sector through pharmaceutical distribution, manufacturing, healthcare centers, retailing, and Co-Marketing. Through selective partnerships, Avanzcare strives to identify latent needs and offer the most innovative and efficient products and services to address them. Its well-defined strategy unites their regional expertise with their strong global network to work towards the final goal: constantly improve people´s well-being.

Avanzcare is invariably seeking to contribute to the development of the healthcare sector in the region by providing advanced health solutions.

About Flublok
Flublok, the world's first recombinant protein-based vaccine for the prevention of seasonal influenza disease, was initially approved by the U.S. FDA in January 2013. FDA expanded its approval in October 2014 to include everyone over 18 years and approved a nine month shelf life in June 2016. Flublok is also licensed for sale in Mexico and licensure in additional countries, including Japan, is expected in the near future. Flublok is the only flu vaccine made in a 100% egg-free system using modern cell culture technology, making it unnecessary to use an infectious influenza virus, antibiotics or harsh chemicals in manufacturing. Flublok is highly purified and does not contain any preservatives (e.g., thimerosal, which contains mercury), egg proteins, gelatin or latex. In addition, Flublok contains three times more antigen than traditional flu vaccines (3x45mcg hemagglutinin protein versus 3x15mcg hemagglutinin protein) and was shown to have superior efficacy in a 2014/15 post-marketing study.* Flublok is an accurate copy of the virus coat and is not subject to the egg-adapted mutations associated with low vaccine effectiveness (see Skowronski et al. (2014) PLOS ONE 9(3), e92153).

Healthcare professionals wishing to order Flublok should contact one of the following distributors:

Protein Sciences Corporation: 203-686-0800

FFF Enterprises: 800-843-7477

Cardinal Health: 866-677-4844

McKesson: 877-MCK-4FLU

Moore Medical: 800-234-1464

Henry Schein: 1-800-772-4346

Avanzcare Co. (for the MENA region) : 00974-4497-1555

Learn more at and

Flublok Safety Information
Flublok is approved for people 18 and older to prevent influenza disease.  The most common side effect from Flublok is pain at the site of injection. Headache, fatigue or muscle ache may occur.

Tell the doctor if you have ever experienced Guillain-Barré syndrome (severe muscle weakness) or have had a severe allergic reaction to any component of Flublok vaccine.

Vaccination with Flublok may not protect all individuals. Clinical effectiveness in adults 50 and older is based on the immune response elicited by Flublok and not on demonstration of decreased influenza disease. 

Please see the complete Package Insert available at or call 203-686-0800 for more information.

*Flublok demonstrated a higher antibody response to the A strains in two field trials in adults >50 years old.  The B strain antibody responses were comparable to traditional trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines.

Editor's Details

Mike Wood

Last updated on: 23/09/2016

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