European biotechnology company Valneva and UK company Immune Targeting Systems (ITS) announced that they have signed an exclusive worldwide commercial license agreement. This deal grants ITS the rights to research, develop and commercialize Hepatitis B vaccine candidates in combination with Valneva’s IC31 Adjuvant.
Valneva’s IC31 Adjuvant is a unique synthetic adjuvant combining the immuno-stimulating properties of an antimicrobial peptide (KLK) and an oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN1a). Eight human clinical trials have shown IC31 to be a safe and immunogenic adjuvant in study volunteers. Those receiving IC31 have reported good local tolerance with no systemic adverse effects reported during clinical studies.
Benjamin Chen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Immune Targeting Systems said, “The pan-genotype therapeutic vaccine for Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB) is a very promising product candidate that can potentially provide a cure for CHB sufferers in developed as well as developing countries. We are excited to team up with Valneva to advance the clinical development of this product.”
Hepatitis B is a serious infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus and is considered a major global health problem. According to the Hepatitis B Foundation, an estimated 1 million people worldwide die each year from Hepatitis B and its complications. Although there are several approved drugs to treat Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB), they only slow down the virus and rarely get rid of it completely. Immune Targeting Systems wants to tackle this difficulty by immunizing patients’ T-Cells against the virus. Thus, this agreement could be an opportunity to solve this unmet medical need.