Lyon (France), January 29, 2015 – European biotechnology company Valneva SE ("Valneva", the Company) and UK company Immune Targeting Systems (ITS) Ltd announced today that they have signed an exclusive worldwide commercial license agreement. The agreement grants Immune Targeting Systems the rights to research, develop and commercialize Hepatitis B vaccine candidates in combination with Valneva’s IC31® Adjuvant.
Thomas Lingelbach, President and Chief Executive Officer and Franck Grimaud, President and Chief Business Officer of Valneva commented, "Hepatitis B is a virulent and contagious disease and we are excited to license our IC31® vaccine Adjuvant to Immune Targeting Systems for developing a potential novel vaccine."
Hepatitis B is a serious infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus and is considered a major global health problem. According to the Hepatitis B Foundation, an estimated 1 million people worldwide die each year from Hepatitis B and its complications. In the US alone over 12 million people have already been infected (one out of 20 people). Although there are several approved drugs to treat Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB), they only slow down the virus and rarely get rid of it completely. Identifying a functional or complete cure for hepatitis B infection remains a significant area of unmet medical need.
"The pan-genotype therapeutic vaccine for Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB) is a very promising product candidate that can potentially provide a cure for CHB sufferers in developed as well as developing countries. We are excited to team up with Valneva to advance the clinical development of this product." Benjamin Chen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Immune Targeting Systems also said.
Valneva’s IC31® Adjuvant is a unique synthetic adjuvant combining the immuno-stimulating properties of an antimicrobial peptide (KLK) and an oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN1a). Eight human clinical trials have shown IC31® to be a safe and immunogenic adjuvant in study volunteers. Those receiving IC31® have reported good local tolerance with no systemic adverse effects reported during clinical studies.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed but include an upfront payment. If successful, product candidates from these agreements may lead to additional cash payments for achieved milestones along with future royalties on net sales.
About Immune Targeting Systems Ltd
Immune Targeting Systems focused on the development of T-cell vaccines to highly mutated viruses and to cancers utilizing its proprietary long-peptide based Depovaccine® platform. The company is supported by Novartis Venture Fund, HealthCap, Truffle Capital, Esperante Ventures and London SME.
About Valneva SE
Formed in 2013 through the merger of Intercell AG and Vivalis SA, Valneva is a biotechnology company developing, manufacturing and commercializing innovative vaccines with a vision to protect people from infectious diseases.
The Company seeks financial returns through focused R&D investments in promising product candidates and growing financial contributions from commercial products, striving towards financial self-sustainability.
Valneva´s portfolio includes a commercial vaccine for the prevention of Japanese encephalitis (IXIARO®) and proprietary vaccines in development against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Clostridium difficile and Lyme Borreliosis. A variety of partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies complement the company’s value proposition and include vaccines being developed using Valneva´s innovative and validated technology platforms (EB66® vaccine production cell line, IC31® adjuvant).
Valneva is headquartered in Lyon, France, listed on Euronext-Paris and the Vienna stock exchange and operates out of France, Austria and Scotland with approximately 270 employees. More information is available at www.valneva.com.