EUSA Pharma (Oxford, UK), a Vaccinex collaboration partner, has announced that it has licensed OP-R003, a human anti-interleukin-6 antibody discovered by Vaccinex, to GlaxoSmithKline.
According to the terms of the product license, GSK will pay an up-front license fee, development milestones, and royalties on product sales to acquire the exclusive world-wide rights to develop and commercialize OP-R003 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other disease indications. Vaccinex will share 50% of fees, payments and royalties. The antibody was discovered by Vaccinex utilizing its ActivMAb(R) antibody discovery technology and first licensed for co-development by EUSA Pharma (formerly OPi SA).
"We are pleased that our collaboration in the discovery and co-development of OP-R003 has attracted such a world-class partner as GSK. Together with previously announced antibody partnerships with Biocon, Ltd. and Teva Pharmaceutical, this transaction further validates the quality of human antibodies selected with Vaccinex's ActivMAb(R) antibody discovery technology," remarked Dr. Maurice Zauderer, Vaccinex's President and CEO.
Commenting on the acquisition, Brian McVeigh, GSK's Worldwide Business Development Director of M&A Strategy and Transactions, said, "Interleukin-6 is increasingly recognized as an important biological target in a range of diseases, and consequently OP-R003 has great potential to meet a number of unmet medical needs."