from the July 2009 issue

GlaxoSmithKline purchases Protea vaccine

The agreement also includes royalty payments to NasVax, which could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE; LSE: GSK) has purchased the rights to a vaccine developed by Protea Vaccine Technologies Ltd., which is fully owned by NasVax Ltd. (TASE:NSVX).

As part of the agreement NasVax will receive an immediate payment of 2.75 million. Over the next two and a half years GSK will have the option to purchase the full rights to the product for an additional 17 million. If certain milestone achievements are realized then GSK is committed to take up the option.

The agreement also includes royalty payments to NasVax which could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

Ptotea developing novel vaccine
Protea is developing a protein based universal vaccine for Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacteria found in most people, and which is potentially harmful and cannot be treated with antibiotics. Vaccines against the bacteria already exist and have annual sales of $6 billion. Protea claims that its vaccine is cheaper and more effective against a wider range of bacteria strains.

Last year Biomedix Incubator Ltd. (TASE:BMDX), which controls Protea and NasVax, decided to merge.

Protea's vaccine is still in the pre-clinical human trial stage. However, animal models are considered a relatively good indication of success in this sector.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report July 2009

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