Friday, March 09, 2007
VACCINEX ANNOUNCES ANTIBODY DEVELOPMENT AND COMMERCIALIZATION ALLIANCE IN MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS AND ONCOLOGY
Rochester, NY - Vaccinex, Inc. announced today that it has entered into a collaboration with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NASDAQ: Teva) to develop and commercialize VX15, a novel human antibody discovered by Vaccinex. VX15 represents a new targeted therapy that has the potential to improve efficacy in treating Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by both suppressing the body's autoimmune response and blocking damage to the central nervous system. VX15 has also shown the ability to eradicate tumors in animal studies by inhibiting blood flow and starving cancer cells of nutrients and energy. VX15 is one of four Vaccinex antibodies currently in pre-clinical development.
According to the terms of the agreement, Teva will make an equity investment in Vaccinex and pay undisclosed fees, development milestones and royalties on product sales to acquire an exclusive license for the development and commercialization of VX15 in multiple sclerosis and other disease indications. Vaccinex retains rights to oncology indications and will continue to conduct all pre-clinical development activities which will be funded by Teva. Teva will have an option to participate as a co-development partner in oncology after Vaccinex completes Phase I clinical trials.
Teva and existing Vaccinex investor, Pan Atlantic Bank and Trust Limited, are participating as lead investors in Vaccinex's third major financing round, which the company anticipates will exceed $25 million.
"This transaction demonstrates Vaccinex's evolution from an antibody discovery company to a product-based company with a growing pipeline and increasing product development capabilities," said Dr. Maurice Zauderer, Vaccinex's President and CEO. "Teva is a tremendously valuable partner for VX15 due to its broad expertise and leadership in the MS market. We are pleased Teva has recognized that Vaccinex is uniquely poised to be a major player in the antibody market."
Vaccinex is a privately held biotechnology company engaged in the discovery and development of novel therapeutic antibodies. Utilizing its proprietary ActivMAb® technology, Vaccinex can select fully human monoclonal antibodies against targets that would be difficult to address with other technologies. This technology can also be used to fully humanize mouse and other non-human antibodies. The firm is headquartered in Rochester, NY and currently has 48 employees. (Also see the company's website, www.vaccinex.com).
Vaccinex: Raymond E. Watkins, Vice President of Operations, 585.271.2700 (x-105)
Suda Communications: Paul Kidwell, 617.296.3854