Novartis and Intercell Partner for Novel Vaccine Development

July 5, 2007
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, a division of Novartis AG (Basel, Switzerland) and IntercellAG (Vienna, Austria), a biotechnology company, will collaborate toward developing a broad range of vaccines.

Basel, Switzerland (July 2)-Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, a division of Novartis AG and IntercellAG (Vienna, Austria), a biotechnology company, will collaborate toward developing a broad range of vaccines. The EUR 270 million ($367 million) transaction provides Novartis exclusive opt-in rights for Intercell’s existing unpartnered vaccine projects and any future projects following completion of Phase II trials. Under the agreement, Novartis will assume responsibilities for Phase III development, manufacturing, and commercialization for selected projects.

Intercell’s range of projects includes a Phase II vaccine candidate for treading pseudomonas infections as well as a preclinical vaccine against pneumonia infections related to streptococcus pneumoniae. Last year, Novartis partnered with Intercell to market and distribute a vaccine, now in Phase III, for preventing infections from the Japanese Encephalitis virus.

Technologies will center on Intercell’s “Antigen Identification Program” (AIP), including IC31 adjuvant technology. The AIP approach is reportedly complementary to Novartis’s “Reverse Vaccinology” system, which selects vaccine candidates on the basis of highly conserved antigen sequences. Novartis plans to further develop IC31 adjuvant to enhance the effectiveness of its influenza vaccines and began Phase I trials of a vaccine formulated with IC31 adjuvant in June 2007.