GSK strengthens early stage vaccine pipeline with acquisition of GlycoVaxyn AG
Issued: London, UK
GSK today announced that it has acquired GlycoVaxyn AG, a specialist vaccine biopharmaceutical company based in Switzerland. Since forming a scientific collaboration in 2012, GSK has held a minority stake in GlycoVaxyn and has now acquired the remaining shares for US $190 million (approximately £124 million) in cash to take full ownership of the company.
GlycoVaxyn has developed an innovative biological conjugation platform technology which has the potential to play an important role in the development of new prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for a range of bacterial diseases. This proprietary technology also has the potential to enable GSK to develop a simplified conjugate vaccine manufacturing process.
Under the terms of the transaction, GSK will additionally acquire a small number of early stage vaccines in development against bacterial infections such as pneumonia, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus aureus andShigellosis, supplementing the company’s existing vaccines pipeline.
Dr Moncef Slaoui, Chairman of Vaccines, GSK said: “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.”
Philippe Dro, Chief Executive Officer of GlycoVaxyn, said: “At GlycoVaxyn, we are delighted to be working even more closely with one of the leading vaccine companies in the world on the development of much needed vaccines.”
GSK and the GlycoVaxyn management team are committed to an innovative collaboration and will work together over the next few months to develop ways of working that will maintain the autonomy and agility of GlycoVaxyn whilst delivering the scale and support that GSK can provide.
With today’s transaction, GSK has now purchased all shares in GlycoVaxyn, valuing the company at US $212 million (approximately £139 million). GlycoVaxyn was supported by investments from life science venture capital firms including Sofinnova Partners, Index Ventures and Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners. GlycoVaxyn also received funding from the Wellcome Trust and through a collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
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GlycoVaxyn AG – was incorporated in 2004 as a spin-off from the ETH Zurich, Switzerland. The company is focused on the development of next-generation bioconjugate vaccines against bacterial infections, utilizing its versatile and innovative bioconjugation platform.
Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described under Item 3.D 'Risk factors' in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2013.