GlycoVaxyn AG sells its shares to GSK
GSK, who was already a minority shareholder in GlycoVaxyn, acquires the company and its biological conjugation platform which may help it to develop a new generation of prophylactic vaccines against bacterial infections. GSK has today paid $190 million to purchase the remaining stake in the company, which is valued at $212 million in total.
Zurich/Schlieren February 11, 2015. GlycoVaxyn, a spin off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), announced today that it has signed an agreement with its development partner and shareholder GSK to sell all remaining shares to GSK, a leading global pharmaceutical and vaccine company.
GlycoVaxyn’s innovative biological conjugation platform originates from ETH Zurich and enables the development of a new generation of conjugate vaccines against major bacterial infections. GlycoVaxyn’s proprietary technology makes it possible to produce conjugate vaccines in bacterial cells by use of modern biotechnology, avoiding chemical conjugation. The platform enables the development of innovative vaccines for a wider range of indications which cannot be produced with a traditional chemical conjugation technology.
The company, which entered into research collaboration with GSK in 2012, is in Phase I clinical trials with a vaccine candidate against E. coli infections and is expected to initiate a Phase I for a vaccine against Shigellosis (severe diarrhea) in the US in the first quarter 2015 with the financial support of the Wellcome Trust.
Bacterial infections such as infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus or E.coli constitute a serious health issue as their ability to resist antibiotic treatments significantly grew over recent years. As a result the role of vaccination to prevent such bacterial infections is becoming increasingly important.
“Since the spin off from ETH Zurich we have successfully advanced our biological conjugation technology and developed a strong pipeline of vaccine candidates. We are delighted to now work even closer with one of the leading vaccine companies in the world on the development of much needed vaccines” said Michael Wacker, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of GlycoVaxyn.
GSK and the GlycoVaxyn management team are committed to an innovative collaboration and will work together over the next few months to develop ways of working that will maintain the autonomy and agility of GlycoVaxyn which will be strengthened by the scale and support that GSK can provide.
GlycoVaxyn AG was incorporated in 2004 as a spin-off from the ETH Zurich, Switzerland. The company is focused on the development of next-generation bioconjugate vaccines against bacterial infections, utilizing its versatile and innovative bioconjugation platform. With its platform, the company can develop and produce immunogenic glycoprotein conjugates in a biological process that circumvents many of the challenges and uncertainties involved in currently used chemical methods. GlycoVaxyn has a broad pipeline of several bioconjugate vaccine candidates, including partnered development programs with GlaxoSmithKline and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The company has raised approximately CHF 50 million of equity funding and has top-tier private investors including Sofinnova Partners, Index Ventures and Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners. GlycoVaxyn currently employs around 50 people. For further information, visit www.glycovaxyn.com.
GSK – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is an independent venture capital firm based in Paris, France. For more than 40 years, the firm has backed nearly 500 companies at different stages of their development – pure creations, spin-offs, as well as turnaround situations – and worked alongside key entrepreneurs in the Life Sciences industry around the globe. With over €1.3 billion of funds under management, Sofinnova Partners has created market leaders with its experienced team and hands-on approach in building portfolio companies through to exit. For more information, please visit: www.sofinnova.fr
About Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners
Paris-based Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners is dedicated to minority investments into privately-owned companies. It currently has more than €1.3 billion under management which is being invested primarily as life sciences venture capital and growth capital. Its Life Sciences Team of eight professionals brings together over 60 years of experience in the Life Science industry and more than 100 years of private equity and venture capital experience. The team has raised €450 million through its Biodiscovery franchise and is currently investing BioDiscovery 4. Since inception in 2001, BioDiscovery Funds have invested in 49 companies, of which 14 have been sold, 14 listed on public financial markets and 17 are still active in the portfolios. Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners is the private equity affiliate of the Edmond de Rothschild Group.
About Index Ventures
Index Ventures is a multi-stage venture capital firm investing in life science and technology companies. In the life sciences field, Index invests in companies with disruptive platform technologies capable of growing into global leaders. It has also pioneered the “asset-centric” investment model, focused on investing in single assets with the potential to be first or best in class. In March 2012, Index launched its first fund dedicated to life sciences. The $200 million fund includes investment from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the venture capital affiliate of the Janssen pharmaceutical companies, part of Johnson & Johnson (J&J). Present and past investments include Egalet, Genmab, Molecular Partners, Minerva Neurosciences, OncoEthix, Micromet and Versartis.
About The Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. It supports bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine.
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