Medicago Inc And Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Enter Into Vaccine Alliance
March 7, 2012
Medicago Inc. has entered into a strategic alliance with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation to develop and commercialize at least three new vaccines together.
AsianScientist (Mar. 7, 2012) – Canadian vaccine technology company, Medicago Inc. and Osaka-based Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation (MTPC) announced on Tuesday the establishment of a strategic alliance through the execution of a Master Research Collaboration Agreement.
The objectives are to develop and commercialize at least three new vaccines with MTPC who will provide funding for all research and development costs. In exchange for granting licensing rights, Medicago will be entitled to receive upfront and milestone payments as well as royalties for each product to be developed under this master agreement.
Under this first agreement to develop a Rotavirus Like Particle (RLP) vaccine target, MTPC will have the option to license the RLP vaccine target and assume global development, regulatory and commercialization responsibilities while Medicago will be eligible to receive up to a total of C$33 million (approximately US$33 million) in upfront and milestone payments as well as royalties on future sales of the RLP product.
Medicago will receive an upfront payment of C$3 million (US$3 million) to begin the initial research on rotavirus. Work on an RLP vaccine target will begin immediately, and additional targets under this master agreement are to be selected by the parties at a later date.
“We are excited to be forming this strategic alliance with Medicago using their innovative, plant-based VLP technologies. Our research collaboration aims to create new and better vaccines that will improve the health of people around the world,” said Dr. Michihiro Tsuchiya, President and CEO of MTPC.
Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea in infants and young children globally. The worldwide incidence of rotavirus is estimated at 125 million cases each year, and is responsible for more than 500,000 deaths annually.
More than 85 percent of these deaths occur in Africa and Asia, and over two million are hospitalized each year with pronounced dehydration. Children under five years of age, especially those between six months and two years, are most vulnerable to the disease.
While vaccines against rotavirus gastroenteritis are currently available and are the single prevention and control measure with the most significant impact on reducing severe disease incidence, economic barriers to access remain an issue in many developing countries.
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