GSK Acquires Vaccine Maker Affinivax in $3.3-Bn Deal

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has completed its acquisition of Affinivax, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based bio/pharmaceutical company developing vaccines, in a $3.3-billion deal ($2.1 billion upfront and up to $1.2 billion in potential development milestones). The companies had announced the acquisition in June (June 2022).

Affinivax’s most advanced vaccines are pneumococcal vaccines for which it applies its proprietary vaccine technology platform, Multiple Antigen Presenting System (MAPS). MAPS supports higher valency than conventional conjugation technologies to enable broader coverage against prevalent pneumococcal serotypes and potentially creating higher immunogenicity than current vaccines. Pneumococcal disease includes pneumonia, meningitis, bloodstream infections, and milder diseases such as sinusitis and otitis media.

Affinivax’s most advanced vaccine candidate, AFX3772, is in Phase II development and includes 24 pneumococcal polysaccharides plus two conserved pneumococcal proteins (compared to up to 20 serotypes in currently approved vaccines). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted breakthrough therapy designation for AFX3772 to prevent Streptococcus pneumoniae invasive disease and pneumonia in adults 50 years old and above. Preparations for the start of a Phase III program are underway (as reported on August 16, 2022). Phase II clinical trials started in June 2022 to assess the use of the vaccine in the pediatric population. A 30-plus valent pneumococcal vaccine candidate is also in preclinical development.

GSK acquired 100% of the outstanding shares of Affinivax for an upfront payment of $2.1 billion paid upon closing with two potential milestone payments each of $600 million to be paid upon the achievement of certain pediatric clinical development milestones.

Source: GlaxoSmithKline