Intravacc signs an exclusive license agreement with Zhifei Lvzhu Biopharmaceutical to commercialize Avacc 3 - an OMV based whooping cough vaccine
Bilthoven, the Netherlands, 2 May 2022 – Intravacc B.V., a world leader in translational research and development of preventive and therapeutic vaccines, today announced the signing of an exclusive licensing agreement with Beijing Zhifei Lvzhu Biopharmaceutical Co., Ltd (“Zhifei Lvzhu”) in China for Avacc 3, an OMV-based whooping cough vaccine.
Under the terms of this agreement Zhifei Lvzhu will receive an exclusive license for the Chinese territory and non-exclusive for Africa, South America and selected Asian countries. Under the agreement Intravacc will receive milestone and upfront payments and royalties over net sales. Both parties will continue to collaborate to tailor the Avacc 3 concept vaccine for the respective territories, including upscaling, toxicology and clinical trials.
Avacc 3 induces strong systemic response
Current vaccines against whooping cough have disadvantages. Inactivated whole cell vaccines are relatively reactogenic, resulting in reduced use in vaccination programs. Subunit vaccines, on the other hand, have limited efficacy. This results in outbreaks of whooping cough, even in vaccinated populations. Asymptomatic carriage facilitates spreading of the bacteria and a vaccine that prevents this, could contribute to herd protection. Intravacc’s Avacc 3, a homologous Bordetella pertussis candidate vaccine based on Intravacc’s OMV platform, induces a strong systemic immune response. When administrated intranasally, it induces both a strong systemic and a strong mucosal immune response.
Dr. Jan Groen, Intravacc’s CEO, said:
“We are very pleased to partner with Zhifei helping to improve the prevention of whooping cough in China. This is Intravacc’s second OMV-based licensing agreement with a pharmaceutical company, thereby expanding the global reach of our proprietary OMV platform technology.”
Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Bordetella pertussis and transmitted through Flügges droplets. It is a strictly human pathogen and all age groups can be infected. However, infants are the main risk group. Worldwide, there are an estimated 24 million cases of pertussis and about 160,000 deaths per year. Diagnosis of pertussis is often difficult in the early stage with only a mild cough, and fever is uncommon. Later, the severity of the disease increases with pneumonia, vomiting and increased coughing, which in infants can lead to death.