Saturday, 31 July 2021

Shionogi partners with HanaVax for pneumonia vaccine candidate

05 October 2020 | News

Shionogi will make an upfront payment to HanaVax in return for exclusive worldwide rights to this vaccine candidate

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Shionogi & Co. and HanaVax Inc., both based in Japan, have announced they have entered into a license agreement for research, development, manufacturing, distribution, and commercialization of HanaVax’s Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) nasal vaccine candidate.

Shionogi will make an upfront payment to HanaVax in return for exclusive worldwide rights to this vaccine candidate. HanaVax will be eligible to receive additional development milestones and royalties based on sales of the vaccine.

The vaccine aims to prevent people from acquiring pneumococcal disease. Pneumonia is the fifth leading cause of death in Japan. S. pneumoniae is one of the most important pneumonia pathogens and the leading bacterial cause of pneumonia deaths worldwide. Infants and the elderly are especially vulnerable to S. pneumoniae, which can cause severe pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis, referred to collectively as “invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPD)”.

Although S. pneumoniae is known to have more than 90 different serotypes, marketed vaccines are only able to cover a limited number of them. Therefore, unmet medical need remains for more comprehensive protection from IPD caused by serotypes not covered by the marketed vaccines.

The vaccine is comprised of PspA antigens, which are expected to provide broader protection than current vaccine antigens, carried in HanaVax’s proprietary cationic nanogel delivery system. In the nonclinical studies, the vaccine effectively induced systemic and respiratory mucosal immunity, and provided protection from S. pneumoniae infection, when applied nasally. The vaccine will also avoid the pain associated with injections.

Shionogi and HanaVax will accelerate research and development of an innovative, next generation nasal vaccine to protect people from S. pneumoniae related diseases, by merging Shionogi’s expertise in infectious diseases with HanaVax’s pioneering research and technology related to mucosal immunity.

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