Astellas To Form Strategic Partnership With ClearPath To Build Vaccine
In-license Vaccine Technology for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) from
TOKYO, ROCKVILLE, Md. and EPALINGES, Switzerland, Jan. 6, 2014
TOKYO,ROCKVILLE, Md. and EPALINGES, Switzerland, Jan. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Astellas Pharma Inc. (Astellas) and ClearPath Development Company (ClearPath)
announced today a strategic partnership to form a portfolio of development
companies focused on vaccines targeting infectious diseases. The partnership
was established to support Astellas' goal of building a global vaccine
franchise and launched its first company, RSV Corporation (RSVC), in December
2013. Astellas will fund RSVC's development of a virosome vaccine technology,
licensed from Mymetics Corporation (Mymetics - OTC BB: MYMX), for respiratory
syncytial virus (RSV) through completion of a Phase 2b human proof-of-concept
study. Based on the strategic partnership, Astellas received exclusive rights
to acquire RSVC as well as further develop and commercialize the vaccine
"This partnership highlights our commitment to build a global vaccine business
and represents a highly efficient model for bringing innovative vaccines to
market. It is also a unique opportunity for Astellas to utilize external
cutting edge science and technology to enhance our ability to generate
innovative drugs, as part of the "Reshaping Research Framework" program
announced in May, 2013," said Kenji Yasukawa, Senior Vice President and Chief
Strategy Officer, Astellas.
RSV is a respiratory pathogen which infects patients of all ages. The
infection can be especially severe in infants and older adults with chronic
pulmonary or cardiovascular disease. Each year the virus infects 64 million
people and is responsible for 160,000 deaths worldwide. Currently, there is
no vaccine available for this virus.
"Together we are harnessing our collective resources to accelerate development
of this promising, early stage asset and will replicate this scalable, outcome
driven model across future portfolio companies," said Chuck Finn, PhD,
Chairman, ClearPath Development Company.
Mymetics will collaborate with RSVC on the development of the vaccine, with
Toon Stegmann PhD, CSO of Mymetics, remaining engaged on pre-clinical
activities including nonclinical evaluation, formulation development, and
manufacturing. RSVC's development team is led by George Siber, MD, a
recognized vaccine expert with more than 35 years experience. From 1996 to
2007, Dr. Siber was Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of
Wyeth Vaccines Research where he oversaw the approval and marketing of six
childhood vaccines including Prevnar, Meningitec, Rotashield and FluMist.
"The financial backing and commercial experience of Astellas combined with
ClearPath's development expertise and our continued program involvement are
unique factors which all work to increase the likelihood of success," said
Ronald Kempers, CEO, Mymetics. "We anticipate RSV will be the first of many
vaccine constructs that can be generated from our proprietary 2^nd generation
For its technology for RSV, Mymetics could receive upfront and post
proof-of-concept milestone payments up to $82 million, as well as double
digits royalties and other payments.
The virosome vaccine consists of membrane nanoparticles containing the native
key viral surface proteins that are targets of the immune system, but lack the
genetic material required to cause infection. In pre-clinical testing, it
generatedpowerful immune responses and strong protection against RSV.
Virosome-based vaccines have a proven track record of safety and efficacy for
the prevention of other infections including influenza.
About Astellas Pharma Inc.:
Astellas Pharma Inc., located in Tokyo, Japan, is a pharmaceutical company
dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the
provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceuticals. Astellas has
approximately 17,000 employees worldwide. The organization is committed to
becoming a global category leader in Urology, Immunology (including
Transplantation) and Infectious diseases, Oncology, Neuroscience and DM
Complications and Kidney diseases. For more information on Astellas Pharma
Inc., please visit the company website at www.astellas.com/en.
About ClearPath Development Company: ClearPath Development Company, a
subsidiary of RRD International, works with leading biopharmaceutical
companies to expand product pipeline opportunities with complementary
development and finance capabilities. Its business model provides
biopharmaceutical companies with an alternative mechanism for accelerating
product development. This model is highly capital-efficient for development
of early-stage assets, enables accelerated development for existing company
assets and external assets under consideration for in-licensing, and helps
de-risk development projects with tailored financing structures. For more
information, visit www.clearpathdevco.com.
About Mymetics Corporation:
Mymetics Corporation is a Swiss-based biotechnology company registered in the
US (OTC BB: MYMX) developing next-generation preventative vaccines for
infectious diseases. The company's vaccines are designed to induce protection
against early transmission and infection, focusing on the mucosal immune
response as a first-line defense, which, for some pathogens, may be essential
for the development of an effective prophylactic vaccine. The Mymetics
pipeline also includes vaccines to prevent influenza (intranasally
administered), HIV-1 and malaria. Please visit www.mymetics.com.
The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor"
for forward-looking statements, which are identified by the words "believe,"
"expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan" and similar expressions. The
statements contained herein which are not based on historical facts are
forward-looking statements that involve known and unknown risks and
uncertainties that could significantly affect our actual results, performance
or achievements in the future and, accordingly, such actual results,
performance or achievements may materially differ from those expressed or
implied in any forward-looking statements made by or on our behalf. These
risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks associated with
our ability to successfully develop and protect our intellectual property, our
ability to successfully develop our vaccine candidates, our ability to raise
additional capital to fund future operations and compliance with applicable
laws and changes in such laws and the administration of such laws. See
Mymetics' most recent Form 10-K for a discussion of such risks, uncertainties
and other factors. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these
forward- looking statements which speak only as of the date the statements
SOURCE Astellas Pharma Inc. and ClearPath Development Company and Mymetics
Contact: Contact details: Astellas Pharma Inc., Corporate Communications,
Phone +81-3-3244-3201; ClearPath Development Company, Lisa Fels, 703.739.2424
x110, firstname.lastname@example.org; Mymetics: Christophe Lamps, Office +41
22 308 2222, Mobile +41 79 476 2687, email@example.com; USA: Michelle Linn,
Phone: +1 774 696 3803, firstname.lastname@example.org
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