4D pharma plc, a leading pharmaceutical company in the development of live biotherapeutics, announces that the company has entered into a research collaboration agreement and an option license to use with MSD (trading name of Merck & Co., Inc., in Kenilworth , New Jersey , United States of America) to Discover and Develop Live Biotherapeutic Products (“LBP”) for vaccines.
Under the terms of the agreement, MicroRx®, the proprietary platform of 4D, will be associated with MSD’s expertise in the development and commercialization of new vaccines, in order to discover and develop LPBs as vaccines in maximum three undisclosed indications. 4D has the right, subject to certain conditions, to purchase from MSD for $ 5 million common shares of 4D during the first 12 months of the collaboration. In addition to an initial cash payment, for each indication, 4D will be eligible to receive up to $ 347.5 million in exercise of options and regulatory and development milestone payments, as well as royalties the annual net sales of any licensed product resulting from the collaboration.
Duncan Peyton, CEO of 4D, said,
“This collaborative research agreement brings together 4D’s innovations in the microbiome field and MSD’s track record in the development of advanced vaccines. MSD and 4D worked closely together combining world-class scientific knowledge to develop a work plan to advance understanding of this field, with the goal of generating a new class of vaccines in areas where unmet needs are important. “
Daria Hazuda , Scientific Director of MSD’s Exploratory Science Center and Vice President of Research on MSD’s Infectious Diseases and Vaccines Discovery, said,
“A key element of our goal at the Center for Exploratory Science is the assessment of emerging areas of emerging biology that are likely to have a major beneficial impact on human health. By applying MicroRx® technology of 4D, we hope to obtain useful information on the role of the host microbiome in modulating the immune response and, ultimately, the protection conferred by vaccines.”