Immunomic Therapeutics, Astellas Pharma sign license deal to develop LAMP-vax DNA vaccines

Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. ("Immunomic Therapeutics"), a company developing next-generation vaccines based on the LAMP-vax platform, and Astellas Pharma Inc. ("Astellas") today announced they have entered into an exclusive license agreement for Japan to develop and commercialize JRC2-LAMP-vax, Immunomic Therapeutics' vaccine designed to treat allergies induced by Japanese red cedar pollen. The companies expect to initiate a Phase 1 trial of JRC2-LAMP-vax in Japan as soon as it is ready.

Under the agreement, Astellas is responsible for developing and commercializing JRC2-LAMP-vax in Japan, where Japanese red cedar pollinosis is endemic. Immunomic Therapeutics will receive $15 million upon the execution of the agreement. Immunomic Therapeutics potentially will also receive up to $55 million in total development and regulatory milestone and technology transfer payments, as well as tiered double-digit royalties on net sales of the product. Astellas will fund clinical trial development costs and supporting development expenses for Japan. Immunomic Therapeutics also granted Astellas an exclusive option to negotiate a license for additional LAMP-vax DNA vaccines to treat allergy indications other than Japanese red cedar pollinosis in Japan.

"Our Japanese red cedar allergy vaccine therapy, JRC2-LAMP-vax, will provide millions of allergic subjects with a truly novel solution for long-lasting disease treatment," said Dr. William Hearl, President and CEO of Immunomic Therapeutics. "We are very pleased to be partnering with Astellas, a global pharmaceutical leader, to deliver this treatment to market. Throughout our global partnering effort, Astellas has consistently proven to be a proactive, thoughtful and innovative partner that is committed to developing new medicines and technologies."

"Immunomic Therapeutics uses a novel vaccine technology, LAMP-vax platform, that will offer the next-generation vaccines for allergy," commented Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Astellas. "We are very excited to partner with Immunomic Therapeutics and we hope that we will deliver to patients a safe and game-changing therapeutic approach with a short administration period for Japanese red cedar pollinosis, from which almost one-quarter of the population in Japan are suffering."

This agreement reflects Astellas' commitment to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products.

The impact of this transaction has been accounted in revised Astellas forecasts for the fiscal year ending March 2015, which was announced on October 31, 2014.


Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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