Genocea Biosciences acquires global license for novel Streptococcus pneumoniae antigens from Children’s Hospital Boston

Genocea Biosciences, a vaccine discovery and development company, today announced an exclusive worldwide license for developed countries to a portfolio of Streptococcus pneumoniae antigens from Children’s Hospital Boston. PATH and Genocea retain certain co-exclusive rights to the antigens for use in developing countries under their collaboration agreements with Children's Hospital Boston. These antigens were identified through a 2008 research collaboration between Genocea, PATH and Children’s Hospital Boston to develop a protein subunit vaccine. This license grants Genocea the right to develop and commercialize vaccines that incorporate these novel antigens.

“The antigens we discovered with Genocea and PATH may prove invaluable in the development of vaccines to prevent the devastating diseases associated with S. pneumoniae infection.”

“This agreement results from our successful collaboration with PATH and Children’s Hospital Boston,” said Staph Leavenworth Bakali, Genocea’s president and chief executive officer. “The acquisition of rights to these co-developed S. pneumoniae antigens significantly bolsters our vaccine development pipeline. By leveraging our antigen vaccine technology, we hope to develop the next generation vaccine and significantly improve both the activity and cost effectiveness of existing multivalent pneumococcal vaccines.”

Genocea and Children’s Hospital have completed pre-clinical proof of concept studies on an S. pneumoniae vaccine developed using these antigens. The company and the group from Children’s Hospital will be presenting the results at the upcoming Seventh International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases, March 14-18, 2010.

“Impressive progress has been made in the development of vaccines against pneumococcus, but with the high childhood mortality still associated with pneumococcal disease in developing countries, there remains a significant medical need for further advances in this area,” said Richard Malley, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics and member of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital Boston. “The antigens we discovered with Genocea and PATH may prove invaluable in the development of vaccines to prevent the devastating diseases associated with S. pneumoniae infection.”

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