Astellas Pharma Inc. (Astellas) and ClearPath Development Company (ClearPath) announced today a strategic partnership to form a portfolio of development companies focused on vaccines targeting infectious diseases. The partnership was established to support Astellas' goal of building a global vaccine franchise and launched its first company, RSV Corporation (RSVC), in December 2013. Astellas will fund RSVC's development of a virosome vaccine technology, licensed from Mymetics Corporation (Mymetics - OTC BB: MYMX), for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) through completion of a Phase 2b human proof-of-concept study. Based on the strategic partnership, Astellas received exclusive rights to acquire RSVC as well as further develop and commercialize the vaccine product.
"This partnership highlights our commitment to build a global vaccine business and represents a highly efficient model for bringing innovative vaccines to market. It is also a unique opportunity for Astellas to utilize external cutting edge science and technology to enhance our ability to generate innovative drugs, as part of the "Reshaping Research Framework" program announced in May, 2013," said Kenji Yasukawa, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Astellas.
RSV is a respiratory pathogen which infects patients of all ages. The infection can be especially severe in infants and older adults with chronic pulmonary or cardiovascular disease. Each year the virus infects 64 million people and is responsible for 160,000 deaths worldwide. Currently, there is no vaccine available for this virus.
"Together we are harnessing our collective resources to accelerate development of this promising, early stage asset and will replicate this scalable, outcome driven model across future portfolio companies," said Chuck Finn, PhD, Chairman, ClearPath Development Company.