The vaccine research centre of the University of Tampere in Finland has outlicenced a candidate combined prophylactic vaccine against norovirus and rotavirus infections. The Japanese vaccine venture UMN Pharma Inc. acquired the worldwide rights to develop and commercialise what will probably be first product designed to simultaneously protect against the two most common causes of acute gastroenteritis. Financial details were not disclosed. A joint Phase I/II clinical studies is to be initiated this year in Finland. The combined vaccine, named UMN-2003, utilises norovirus GII-4 virus-like particles and a human recombinant rotavirus VP6 protein. These are produced through a baculovirus expression system.