- Bavarian Nordic and Janssen Pharmaceutical have joined together in another vaccine collaboration deal, this time focusing on using Bavarian Nordic's MVA-BN technology in vaccines against hepatitis B virus and HIV.
- In return for exclusive rights in these two areas, Janssen is paying $10 million in upfront payments, and Johnson & Johnson Innovation — JJDC is making an equity investment of $33 million. Milestone payments could add $836 million to the total, with tiered royalties for sales on top. The transaction is expected to close during third quarter 2017.
- The deal has meant that Bavarian Nordic has raised its expectations for the year-end cash preparedness from around DKK 2,400 million ($378.1 million) to around DKK 2,600 million ($409.6 million). Bavarian Nordic's shares spiked up over 8%, from DKK 386 ($60.80) to DKK 418.00 ($65.84).
Bavarian Nordic and Janssen Pharmaceutical have been working together since 2014, and this new deal brings the total of shared vaccine projects up to four. In October 2014, Bavarian Nordic licensed its MVA-BN-based Ebola/Marburg vaccine to Crucell Holland, part of Janssen Pharmaceutical, in a licensing and supply agreement worth up to $187 million. The deal was then expanded to add in evaluation of the MVA-BN platform technology for three additional vaccine targets.
The Ebola vaccine, as part of a Ebola prime-boost vaccine regimen, was submitted to the World Health Organization in September 2016 for Emergency Use Assessment and Listing (EUAL). In December 2015, the two companies hooked up in a $171 million licensing and collaboration agreement to develop a therapeutic prime-boost vaccine for cancers induced by human papillomavirus infection, based on Bavarian Nordic's MVA-BN technology and Janssen's AdVac technology.
"This agreement builds upon the science and data we have seen to date, which has shown the potential that a combination of our two platforms could serve many patients in a wide range of disease areas. We welcome this expansion of what has already been a fantastic relationship between our two companies," said Paul Chaplin, president & CEO of Bavarian Nordic.
While HIV therapeutics have made a huge difference in treatment of the infection, there is still a lot of unmet need in its prevention and treatment, particularly in the developing world. There are around 37 million HIV-positive people worldwide, and 2 million more become newly infected each year. Hepatitis B infection is lifelong and there are currently no curative therapies. Many of the 650,000 deaths from cirrhosis and liver cancer each year can be linked with the virus.