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Austrian biotech company secures UK pharma giant's funds

GuM © ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA

© ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA

2. November 2008

GlaxoSmithKline and Vienna based AFFiRiS have signed an exclusive license and option agreement for therapeutic Alzheimer’s disease candidate vaccines 

GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals S.A., the Belgium based division of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Vienna-based AFFiRiS GmbH have announced the execution of a collaboration agreement granting GSK exclusive rights to AFFiRiS’s Alzheimer’s disease vaccine programmes, aimed at treating Alzheimer’s by targeting beta-amyloid.

As part of the agreement GSK, the world’s second biggest drugs company, is acquiring exclusive rights to develop and commercialise two Alzheimer’s disease vaccine candidates that are based on AFFiRiS AFFiTOPE technology and are currently in Phase I clinical development. AFFiRiS is also granting GSK an exclusive option to develop and commercialise alternative Alzheimer’s disease vaccine candidates which are in preclinical development.

Under the terms of the agreement, AFFiRiS will receive an up-front payment of € 22.5 million (£17.5 million) and could be eligible for future milestone payments and royalties. The total potential value of the agreement could reach € 430 million (£334 million) in the event of full commercial success of the candidate vaccines. This agreement is subject to governmental authority approval.

Central to the deal is the AFFiRiS AFFiTOPE technology which allows the design of proteins with very specific binding characteristics that are ideally suited for the development of vaccines against disease causing “rogue” human proteins such as beta-amyloid which is central to the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.

Biotech in Austria


The list of outstanding success stories from the life sciences community in Austria is continuously growing. The biotech sector in Austria now encompasses 100 companies employing around 8,000 people, mainly in the field of human medicine. The sector has a turnover of € 2 billion ( £ 1.56 billion) per year and Vienna will be the location for the biggest European partnering event BIO-Europe in November 2009. 
 

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