Immunovaccine licenses cancer vaccine from Merck KGaA

Builds on clinical studies by formulating vaccine in DepoVax system

Immunovaccine, a Canadian bioscience firm, has signed a licensing agreement with Merck KGaA for the German drug company’s EMD 640744 cancer vaccine. The vaccine targets multiple solid tumours and haematological cancers.

Immunovaccine will build on the current on-going Phase 1 study for EMD 640744 by formulating the survivin-based vaccine in its DepoVax delivery system.

DepoVax is a lipid depot-based vaccine delivery system in which the antigens and adjuvants (immune enhancers) are formulated in liposomes and then in oil. This patented combination is said to raise unusually strong and long-lasting immune responses.

The Halifax, Nova Scotia-based firm expects that after some preclinical work the EMD 640744-DepoVax combination vaccine will proceed quickly into Phases 1 and 2 of clinical development.

Immunovaccine gains exclusive worldwide rights, under issued patents and patent applications, to develop and commercialise the product for multiple cancer indications.

Under the agreement terms, Immunovaccine will pay Merck KGaA success-based milestones and royalties as a percentage of product sales. Further financial terms were not disclosed.

‘Merck KGaA is a global leader with a track record of successfully developing therapies for cancer and we are excited to be working with them on such a vaccine candidate,’ said Randal Chase, president and ceo of Immunovaccine.

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