Astellas in Pneumococcal Vaccine Partnership

Astellas Pharma has entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Affinivax, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-headquartered biotechnology company, to develop and commercialize a vaccine targeting Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). The partnership will use Affinivax’s proprietary vaccine technology platform, multiple antigen presenting system (MAPS), to advance a MAPS vaccine to prevent and reduce the spread of pneumococcal disease.

Astellas will lead and fully fund the development program and will obtain worldwide rights to commercialize the MAPS vaccine for pneumococcal disease. Affinivax will receive an initial upfront payment of $10 million from Astellas and will be eligible to receive a range of development milestones and commercial milestones. In addition, Affinivax will receive tiered royalties on any future product sales.

The MAPS vaccine platform is designed to enable the binding of protective polysaccharides and proteins in a single vaccine, which offers the potential to provide broader protection against invasive disease than currently available vaccines and the potential to reduce nasopharyngeal colonization, according to Astellas. To date, Affinivax has advanced the MAPS vaccine through nonclinical proof-of-concept studies. Affinivax is backed by an investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is focused on creating a pipeline of vaccines for children and adults in both the developed and developing worlds.

Source: Astellas Pharma

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