Vaccines developer Intercell has formed an alliance with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to accelerate the development and commercialisation of needle-free, patch-based vaccines. The agreement covers the Vienna-based company’s vaccine for travellers’ diarrhoea and a single application pandemic influenza vaccine, plus the use of the patch technology for other vaccines in GSK’s portfolio.
GSK will pay €33.6 million upfront and make an equity investment of up to €84 million in Intercell. “This new partnership is combining the forces of Intercell’s innovative needle-free vaccination programme and technologies with [GSK’s] strength in development and commercialisation. In addition, we can pursue our business strategy of creating significant shareholder value as an independent company whilst continuing to develop one of the most innovative product pipelines in the industry,” said Gerd Zettlmeissl, Chief Executive Officer of Intercell.
“This novel technology has real potential to change the way vaccines are delivered in the future. GSK has an extensive portfolio of vaccines and we believe needle-free vaccination could offer benefits such as simplified administration and increased compliance,” said Jean Stephenne, President of GSK Biologicals.
The Intercell vaccine patch can both enhance the effect of vaccines that are injected currently and be used to develop new vaccines which require transcutaneous administration.
In studies, the patch has been shown to boost cellular immunity to a diverse range of antigens, and to stimulate both B-cell and T-cell responses. It contains the heat labile enterotoxin from E. coli, one of the most potent stimulators of the immune system.