British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has agreed to invest up to €150m to acquire a 10% stake in German biotech company CureVac.
The companies have signed a collaboration agreement for the research, development, manufacturing and commercialisation of up to five messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to eliminate infectious disease pathogens.
As part of the agreement, CureVac will also secure an upfront cash payment of €120m and a one-time reimbursable payment of €30m from GSK for manufacturing capacity reservation.
The deal also allows CureVac to secure development and regulatory milestone payments of up to €320m and commercial milestone payments of up to €380m, as well as tiered royalties on product sales.
GSK will provide funds for R&D activities at CureVac related to the development projects covered under the deal.
The collaboration is said to be in line with GSK’s existing mRNA capabilities with CureVac’s integrated mRNA platform.
GSK Vaccines president Roger Connor said: “GSK’s self-amplifying mRNA (SAM) vaccine technology has shown us the potential of mRNA technology to advance the science of vaccine development, and CureVac’s experience complements our own expertise.”
The cash payment will be made upon certification of CureVac’s commercial-scale manufacturing facility presently under construction in Germany.
CureVac will take responsibility for the preclinical and clinical-development through phase 1 trials of these projects. Later, GSK will take responsibility for further development and commercialisation.
CureVac will also take responsibility for the GMP manufacturing of the product candidates, including for commercialisation. Also, it will hold commercialisation rights for selected countries for all product candidates.
CureVac acting CEO Dr Franz-Werner Haas said: “We are delighted to partner with GSK. With this collaboration, we are gaining a world-class partner whose expertise and global footprint will allow us to further develop and translate the value of our platform into potential products for the world.”
In April this year, GSK joined forces with French pharma company Sanofi for the development of an adjuvanted vaccine for Covid-19 disease.