Biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic yesterday announced an additional worldwide exclusive license and collaboration agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. This new collaboration grants Janssen the exclusive rights to Bavarian Nordic’s MVA-BN® technology for two additional programs, targeting vaccines against hepatitis B virus (HBV) and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1).
Under the terms of the agreement, Janssen will provide an upfront payment of $10 million USD, and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. will provide $33 million USD 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 USD, in addition to tiered royalties on future sales.
“We are very excited about this additional collaboration with Janssen, and proud to deploy our MVA-platform in the fight against two diseases with such an enormous impact on global health,” said Paul Chaplin, President & CEO of Bavarian Nordic. “This agreement builds upon the science and data we have seen to date, which has shown the potential that a combination of our two platforms could serve many patients in a wide range of disease areas. We welcome this expansion of what has already been a fantastic relationship between our two companies.”
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. In October 2014, Janssen licensed MVA-BN for use in a heterologous prime-boost Ebola vaccine regimen. Subsequently, Janssen has evaluated MVA-BN in additional disease targets, leading to a second license for HPV 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.