Valneva SE, a specialty vaccine company, and Pfizer Inc. today announced a collaboration to develop and commercialize Valneva’s Lyme disease vaccine candidate VLA15, which is currently in Phase 2 clinical studies.
VLA15 is the only active Lyme disease vaccine program in clinical development today, and covers six serotypes that are prevalent in North America and Europe. The investigational multivalent protein subunit vaccine, VLA15, targets the outer surface protein A (OspA) of Borrelia, an established mechanism of action for a Lyme disease vaccine. OspA is one of the most dominant surface proteins expressed by the bacteria when present in a tick. VLA15 has demonstrated strong immunogenicity and safety data in pre-clinical and Phase 1 studies. The program was granted Fast Track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2017. Valneva has completed patient enrolment and follow-up for two Phase 2 studies of its Lyme disease vaccine candidate, in more than 800 people. Valneva expects to report the first Phase 2 results in mid-2020.
Valneva and Pfizer will work closely together throughout the development of VLA15. Valneva is eligible to receive a total of $308 million cash payments consisting of a $130 million upfront payment, $35 million in development milestones and $143 million in early commercialization milestones. Under the terms of the agreement, Valneva will fund 30% of all development costs through completion of the development program, and in return Pfizer will pay Valneva tiered royalties starting at 19%. Pfizer will lead late-stage development and have sole control over commercialization.
Thomas Lingelbach, Chief Executive Officer, Valneva, commented “This collaboration is extremely exciting as it provides the opportunity for the rapid development and launch of a vaccine that has the potential to address a major unmet medical need. It validates Valneva’s strong vaccine R&D capabilities. We believe that Pfizer is the best partner for our Lyme disease vaccine given their outstanding development and commercial capabilities. Our team is thrilled about the prospect of working with such a successful partner.”
“Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the United States and is growing in its prevalence and geographic reach. We look forward to working closely with Valneva to continue advancing the VLA15 program and potentially bring a new solution to patients for this significant unmet need,” said Nanette Cocero, Global President, Pfizer Vaccines. “As both a research company, and a manufacturer of pediatric and adult vaccines including a vaccine for tick-borne encephalitis in Europe, we believe that Pfizer’s vaccine heritage, scientific expertise, and global commercial capabilities will help allow the VLA15 program to reach its maximum potential in helping protect children and adults from Lyme disease.
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