J&J, Bavarian Nordic Sign Vaccine Deal Worth Up to Nearly $880 Million
Janssen Pharmaceuticals, part of Johnson & Johnson (J&J), has entered into a worldwide exclusive license and collaboration agreement with Bavarian Nordic, a Kvistgaard, Denmark-based biotechnology company, for potential new vaccine regimens against hepatitis B virus and the human immunodeficiency virus in a deal worth up to nearly $880 million.
Under the agreement, Janssen will provide an upfront payment of $10 million, and Johnson & Johnson Innovation, a division of Johnson & Johnson Finance Corporation, focused on early-stage development, will provide $33 million in an equity investment by subscription of new Bavarian Nordic shares. Additionally, Bavarian Nordic will be eligible to receive milestone payments based upon the achievement of specified development, regulatory, and sales milestones up to a total of $836 million in addition to tiered royalties on future sales.
This new collaboration grants Janssen the exclusive rights to Bavarian Nordic’s MVA-BN technology for two additional programs for vaccines targeting hepatitis B virus (HBV) and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1). With the addition of programs targeting HBV and HIV-1, the companies are now collaborating on four product-development programs combining Bavarian Nordic’s MVA-BN technology with Janssen’s AdVac technology platform. Bavarian Nordic’s MVA-BN technology is based on an attenuated version of the modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) virus, which is a highly attenuated strain of the poxvirus Chorioallantois Vaccinia virus Ankara. Janssen’s AdVac technology platform is used to produce adenoviral-based vaccines
In October 2014, Janssen licensed MVA-BN for use in a heterologous prime-boost Ebola vaccine regimen. Subsequently, Janssen evaluated MVA-BN in additional disease targets, leading to a second license for human papillomavirus in December 2015. Similar to prior agreements, Janssen will be responsible for all clinical development while manufacturing of MVA-BN is retained by Bavarian Nordic. Janssen will conduct all clinical development and, subject to regulatory approval, be responsible for registration, distribution, and commercialization of any potential new vaccine regimens worldwide.
The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including termination or expiration of any applicable waiting periods under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.