- GSK will pay $2.1 billion up front and up to $1.2 billion in development milestone payments.
- The proposed acquisition will give the company access to a next-generation 24-valent pneumococcal vaccine candidate in phase II development as well as MAPSTM technology, which is extremely innovative.
- Encourages the development of a diverse portfolio of novel vaccines and speciality drugs.
GSK plc said today that it has reached a deal to buy Affinivax, Inc. (Affinivax), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical business based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for $2.1 billion in cash and up to $1.2 billion in possible development milestones. Affinivax is leading the way in the creation of a new type of vaccination, the next-generation pneumococcal vaccines, which are the most advanced.
Despite the availability of modern pneumococcal vaccines, pneumonia, meningitis, bloodstream infections, and milder disorders such as sinusitis and otitis media remain a significant unmet medical need. Pneumococcal serotypes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Due to the degree of immunological interference detected when employing present conjugation technologies, the number of serotypes in current vaccines is limited.
Affinivax has developed the Multiple Antigen Presenting System (MAPS), a novel technology that supports higher valency than conventional conjugation technologies, enabling broader coverage against prevalent pneumococcal serotypes and potentially creating higher immunogenicity than current vaccines. Affinivax’s most advanced vaccine candidate (AFX3772) includes 24 pneumococcal polysaccharides plus two conserved pneumococcal proteins (compared to up to 20 serotypes in currently approved vaccines). A 30-plus valent pneumococcal candidate vaccine is also in pre-clinical development.
AFX3772 was well tolerated in adult phase I/II clinical trials and showed good immunological responses when compared to the current standard of therapy. The US Food and Drug Administration designated AFX3772 as a Breakthrough Therapy in July 2021 to prevent S. pneumoniae invasive illness and pneumonia in persons aged 50 and up. Phase III is set to begin in the near future. Later this year, phase I/II clinical trials to evaluate the vaccine’s use in children will begin.