Protea teams with GlaxoSmithKline on vaccines

GSK will fund a join R&D plan, and has an option on an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize streptococcus pneumoniae vaccines based on Protea's proteins.

(Correction) Protea Vaccine Technologies Ltd., owned by NasVax Ltd. (TASE:NSVX), has announced a collaboration and option agreement that grants GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals S.A. (GSK) the option to obtain an exclusive license to a set of Protea’s conserved pneumococcal proteins for the development and commercialization of a universal protein-based Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccine.

Protea and GSK will collaborate in carrying out an R&D plan funded by GSK on Protea's pneumococcal proteins, all of which are in pre-clinical development. In addition, GSK is acquiring an option to obtain an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize vaccines based on Protea's proteins.

Protea will receive R&D funding and an option fee, together totaling approximately 2.4 million euro. On exercising the option, GSK will pay Protea an upfront license fee and subsequent milestone payments totaling approximately 17 million euro. Protea will also be entitled to royalties on products commercialized by GSK.

Streptococcus pneumoniae is one of the world’s most common pathogenic bacteria and is responsible for more than 1 million deaths annually worldwide, mostly of very young children. Pneumococcal infections may result in meningitis, pneumonia, sepsis and otitis media in young children and pneumonia in the elderly.

The pneumococcal vaccine is one of the two largest segments in the vaccine market. This market, which was worth $2.7 billion in 2008, is currently served by polysaccharide conjugate vaccines. A vaccine consisting of conserved proteins is expected to possibly become the next generation pneumococcal vaccine.

NasVax CEO Erez Chimovits said, "We are pleased that we could secure GSK, one of the world’s leading vaccine companies, as partner for the development of Protea’s protein-based universal vaccine as the next-generation pneumococcal vaccine. This agreement brings together Protea’s innovation with GSK’s vaccine development and commercialization capabilities and experience.”

NasVax's share price rose 12.63% today to NIS 24.39.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on June 16, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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