GlaxoSmithKline Strengthens Vaccines Business with GlycoVaxyn Acquisition

Today, GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) announced that it has acquired Swiss vaccines specialist GlycoVaxyn for $190 million.

More than two years ago, GSK took a minority stake in the vaccine developer as part of a collaboration to develop new antibacterial conjugate vaccines. And now the company is paying $190 million in cash to take full ownership of the company.

GlycoVaxyn, spun-out of the Swiss Polytechnic Institute of Zurich, has developed an innovative biological conjugation platform technology which could potentially play a key role in developing new prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for various bacterial diseases. According to the company, the technology also has the potential to enable GSK to develop a simplified conjugate vaccine manufacturing process.

The acquisition provides GSK with early-stage vaccines currently in development against bacterial infections such as pneumonia, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus aureus and Shigellosis, supplementing the company’s existing pipeline of vaccines.

GSK’s vaccine unit accounts for roughly 14 percent of the company’s sales, however the company has made vaccines a priority with the recent acquisition of Novartis’ vaccine business in exchange for its portfolio of cancer drugs. The deal is expected to close in the coming weeks and will consolidate GSK’s position as a leader in vaccines, alongside Merck and Sanofi.

“This is an exciting opportunity to expand our research efforts to develop a new generation of vaccines for common and severe bacterial infections, for many of which there are currently no effective vaccines. It reinforces our commitment to seek out and invest in great science and complements our proposed transaction with Novartis which will strengthen our leading position in vaccines,” said Dr. Moncef Slaoui, Chairman of Vaccines, GSK.

With today’s transaction, GlycoVaxyn is valued at $212 million. The company was supported by investments from venture capital firms including Soffinova Partners, Index Ventures and Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners. Additionally, GlycoVaxyn received funding from the Wellcome Trust and trough a collaboration with Janssen.

“At GlycoVaxyn, we are delighted to be working even more closely with one of the leading vaccine companies in the world on development of much needed vaccines,” said Philipe Dro, Chief Executive Officer of GlycoVaxyn.

Source: GlaxoSmithKline plc

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