Aridis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of targeted immunotherapies using fully human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to treat life-threatening bacterial infections, announced that it has entered into an option agreement with the Serum International BV, an affiliate of Serum Institute of India, Ltd., the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by dose units.
The agreement grants SIBV the option to license multiple programs from Aridis and access the Company’s MabIgX® platform technology for asset identification and selection. As part of the option agreement, SIBV made an equity investment of $10 million whereby Aridis will issue 801,820 shares of its restricted common stock to SIBV at a price of approximately $12.47 per share which represents approximately 31% premium to yesterday’s closing share price.
In addition, Aridis received an upfront cash payment of $5 million upon execution of this option agreement and will receive an additional $10 million upon execution of the license agreement by August 31, 2019. The upfront payment is refundable should the parties not complete the license agreement. Furthermore, under the license agreement, Aridis will receive future milestone payments for achieving product development and commercial objectives, along with royalties on net sales.
“I am pleased to reach agreement for a comprehensive licensing relationship with the Serum Institute, who has built formidable capabilities in monoclonal antibody development and manufacturing as part of its plan to expand into biotherapeutics and transition to a major global biotechnology company,”
commented Vu Truong, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Aridis Pharmaceuticals.
Under the terms of the agreement, SIBV has the option to in-license Aridis’ clinical-stage programs AR-301(ventilator-associated pneumonia), AR-105 (ventilator-associated pneumonia), and AR-101 (hospital-acquired pneumonia): these license rights will be exclusive and to a limited territory, which includes territories outside of the U.S., Europe, Canada, UK, China, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The option includes the right to acquire an exclusive, worldwide license (excluding China) to AR-201, a preclinical fully human mAb for the prevention of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
In addition, under the agreement, SIBV may elect to collaborate with Aridis to utilize MabIgX® to identify and advance up to 5 wholly-owned programs for the treatment of infectious diseases of import to the developing world. MabIgX® is Aridis’ proprietary technology platform to rapidly identify rare, potent antibody-producing B-cells from patients who have successfully overcome an infection to produce mAbs.
“This strategic alliance provides a commercial gateway for our monoclonal antibody (mAb) immunotherapies to be implemented in emerging markets, where the Serum Institute has a strong commercial presence. More importantly, because our targeted anti-infective immunotherapies are effective against antibiotic-resistant infections, which are frequently common in developing world and emerging market countries, this partnership allows for the introduction of much needed innovative medicines to regions of the world where antimicrobial resistance is particularly high,”
said Dr. Truong.
“We are excited by the potential to establish a multi-faceted relationship with Aridis as it represents a unique opportunity to add important assets to our commercial product portfolio while bolstering our development pipeline,”
commented Adar C. Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer of Serum Institute.
“We are encouraged by the data demonstrated to date by these programs, view the MabIgX® platform as a promising source for additional pipeline candidates, and are excited to invest in an anti-infective company with a novel approach to treating bacterial diseases using fully human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs).”