Sector News

GSK buys vaccine specialist GlycoVaxyn for $190m

February 12, 2015
Life sciences
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has taken control of Swiss company GlycoVaxyn in a $190m deal that bolsters its early vaccines pipeline.
 
GSK already owned a stake in GlycoVaxyn and had been working with the company since 2012 on the development of conjugate vaccines for bacterial infections. 
 
Buying the remainder of the company gives it a portfolio of early-stage candidates including an Escherichia coli vaccine in phase I trials and – more importantly – exclusive rights to the Swiss company’s platform technology for making new vaccine candidates.
 
GlycoVaxyn has developed a technique that makes it possible to produce conjugate vaccines in bacterial cells using bio-engineering, rather than using chemical conjugation, which makes it possible to develop vaccines against a broader range of bacterial infections. GSK said it could also make it easier to manufacture the vaccines.
 
In addition to the E. coli vaccine, GlycoVaxyn is also preparing to start clinical trials in the US of a vaccine against the severe diarrhoeal disease shigellosis in the coming weeks, backed by the Wellcome Trust, and its pipeline also includes candidates for pneumonia, Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus aureus.
 
Moncef Slaoui, who heads GSK’s vaccines business, said the deal was an “exciting opportunity” to develop a new generation of vaccines for serious bacterial infections, “for many of which there are currently no effective vaccines.”
 
Bacterial infections constitute a serious health issue as their ability to resist antibiotic treatment has grown significantly in recent years, so the role of vaccination is becoming increasingly important.
 
GSK’s vaccines unit accounts for around 14% of the company’s sales but saw turnover dip a little last year on increased competition and the suspension of a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme in Japan that affected its Cervarix product. 
 
The company has made vaccines a pillar of its strategy and last year agreed to take control of Novartis’ vaccine business (excluding flu vaccines) – including Bexsero for meningitis – in a swap for a portfolio of cancer drugs. That deal is due to close in the coming weeks and will consolidate GSK’s position as a leading vaccine player alongside Merck & Co and Sanofi.
 
Meanwhile, GSK has high hopes for its near-term vaccine pipeline, which include HZ/su for preventing shingles which generated positive phase III results last December, as well as a prophylactic vaccine for hepatitis C, a therapeutic vaccine for hepatitis B and a new tuberculosis shot. 
 
Source: PMLive

comments closed

Related News

September 25, 2022

Rise of the machines: Novo Nordisk pledges $200M to create first quantum computer for life sciences

Life sciences

Big Pharma has long seen the potential for AI and machine learning to accelerate drug development. But Novo Nordisk is going a step further by channeling $200 million toward the creation of a computer that will outrun anything in existence.

September 25, 2022

Mount Sinai AI uncovers new brain analysis method to predict dementia, Alzheimer’s disease

Life sciences

Current methods for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease rely on a complex combination of self- and caregiver-reported symptoms, a physical examination and either a PET scan or a spinal tap to look for evidence of amyloid plaque build-ups in the brain. But a new artificial intelligence-based method may make the diagnostic process a much more objective one.

September 25, 2022

New AstraZeneca-backed report finds big money behind diverse owners and entrepreneurs in Europe

Life sciences

There is lots of talk about diversity and inclusion in business, including in pharma and medtech. A new report by the Open Political Economy Network (OPEN), a think tank focusing on migration and diversity, released its “Minority Businesses Matter: Europe” report highlighting the successes and challenges of ethnic minority-owned businesses in Europe.