Bavarian Nordic partners with Janssen for HPV vaccine

Bavarian Nordic has entered into a license and collaboration agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals to target HPV-related cancers.

The goal of the partnership is to create a vaccine to treat chronic HPV infections and interrupt precancerous stages of HPV-related cancer, according to Bavarian Nordic.

For the exclusive rights to Bavarian Nordic's Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA-BN), Janssen will pay $9 million upfront to the company. Janssen will also potentially make future payments of up to $171 million after reaching development and commercial milestones. Janssen will fund all development costs, and Bavarian Nordic will undertake all manufacturing of MVA-BN. Bavarian Nordic is also entitled to receive single-digit tiered royalties on future product sales.

Janssen will use its AdVac technology in combination with Bavarian Nordic's MVA-BN technology to study a prime-boost vaccine regimen, which induces "a strong and longer-lasting immune response," according to Bavarian Nordic.

The agreement builds upon the existing collaboration entered in October 2014 between the companies, under which Janssen would evaluate MVA-BN for certain infectious disease targets. Janssen also retains an exclusive option to license MVA-BN for two additional undisclosed infectious disease targets and for which economic terms remain independent of those for HPV.

"We are excited to expand our collaboration with Janssen on the evaluation of MVA-BN as a therapeutic approach to HPV," stated Paul Chaplin, PhD, CEO of Bavarian Nordic, in a press release. "Through the ongoing collaboration on Ebola, we have already made significant advances with our MVA-BN technology, demonstrating its potential to enhance and prolong immune responses induced by Janssen's AdVac technology, and we look forward to expanding the partnership to explore the same concept for HPV."

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