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GSK strikes smoking cessation vaccine deal

GSK and Nabi enter into an agreement for an investigational vaccine to treat nicotine addiction
GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA (GSK) and Nabi Biopharmaceuticals (Nabi) have announced an exclusive worldwide option and licensing agreement for a nicotine conjugate candidate vaccine (NicVAX).
 
NicVAX is an investigational vaccine for the treatment of nicotine addiction and the prevention of smoking relapse, as well as for the development of a second generation nicotine vaccine.
 
Under the terms of the agreement, Nabi will receive an upfront, non-refundable fee of $40m, an option to exclusively in-license NicVAX worldwide, and a license to develop follow-on, next-generation nicotine vaccines using Nabi's intellectual property. In addition to its eligibility to received $500m plus in option fees and regulatory, development and sales milestones for NicVAX and follow-on nicotine vaccines, Nabi will receive royalties on global sales of NicVAX should GSK exercise its option, as well as royalties on global sales on next generation nicotine vaccines.
 
NicVAX is currently in the first of two phase III clinical trials, funded by Nabi, upon successful completion of which, GSK will decide whether to exercise its option for further development and commercialisation of the vaccine. In parallel with these phase III studies, GSK will develop its own next-generation nicotine vaccine, combining Nabi's intellectual property with GSK technology. This development is independent of GSK's choice to exercise its option to in-license NicVAX.
 
"If approved, this smoking cessation vaccine technology could be a novel solution to help the millions of smokers who want to stop smoking and remain abstinent; a habit that is well documented to be very hard to stop permanently," says Jean Stephenne, president of GSK Biologicals. "This technology builds our capability in the therapeutic uses of vaccines and is a great addition to our smoking cessation portfolio."
 
President and chief executive officer of Nabi Biopharmaceuticals, Dr Raafat Fahim, said that he was very pleased with the deal. "We look forward to addressing one of the largest unmet medical needs of our time with what we believe will be an effective tool to help people quit smoking and remain smoke-free for the rest of their lives," he said.

16th November 2009

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