The FINANCIAL — Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc., a company developing next generation vaccines based on the LAMP-vax platform, and Astellas Pharma Inc. on October 9 announced they have entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement to the LAMP-vax products for the treatment or prevention of any and all allergic diseases in humans. The LAMP-vax technology enhances the effectiveness of DNA vaccines. It has the ability to make DNA vaccines work, which potentially enables effective vaccinations for a wide spectrum of diseases.
In January 2015, Immunomic Therapeutics and Astellas entered into an exclusive license agreement for Japan to develop and commercialize ASP4070 (previously known as JRC2-LAMP-vax) designed to treat allergies induced by Japanese red cedar pollen; Astellas initiated a Phase 1 trial of ASP4070 in Japan this year. Irrespective of the new agreement, this initial agreement remains in effect, according to Astellas Pharma.
Astellas has now acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to research, develop, manufacture and commercialize any potential LAMP-vax products designed to treat or prevent human allergic diseases, including, among other things, ARA-LAMP-vax for the treatment or prevention of peanut allergy as well as other research-stage programs for food or environmental allergies.
Upon execution of the new agreement, Immunomic Therapeutics will receive an upfront payment of $300 million and be entitled to receive 10% royalties of net sales of the potential products.
“We are excited that Astellas recognized the potential of LAMP-vax technology to usher in a new era in vaccination against common and serious allergies and are thrilled to be partnering with them again,” said Dr. William Hearl, CEO of Immunomic Therapeutics. “With this new partnership, Astellas can explore the LAMP-vax platform for allergic disease, while we continue applications in other areas, like cancer immunotherapy.”
“Astellas sets a strategic goal to advance new opportunities as part of our Strategic Plan 2015-2017, and we are actively investing in new therapeutic areas and new technologies/new modalities, in particular, regenerative medicine and next generation vaccines,” commented Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Astellas. “We focus on immunology as one of the prioritized disease areas for our research and are exploring targets for new drug discoveries that involve several immune disorders, with the aim of developing a causal treatment for immune disorders. We are very excited to partner with Immunomic Therapeutics again as this transaction further supports our strategic goals and strengthens our pipeline in immunology.”
The impact of this transaction on Astellas’ financial results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016 will be immaterial.