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GlaxoSmithKline and AFFiRiS sign an exclusive licence and option agreement for therapeutic Alzheimer’s disease candidate vaccines


London, UK, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals S.A. (GSK) and AFFiRiS GmbH announced today the execution of a collaboration agreement granting GSK exclusive rights to AFFiRiS’s Alzheimer’s disease vaccine programmes, aimed at treating Alzheimer’s by targeting beta-amyloid.

As part of the agreement, GSK is acquiring exclusive rights to develop and commercialise two Alzheimer’s disease vaccine candidates that are based on AFFiRiS AFFiTOPE technology and are currently in Phase I clinical development. AFFiRiS is also granting GSK an exclusive option to develop and commercialise alternative Alzheimer’s disease vaccine candidates which are in preclinical development.

Under the terms of the agreement, AFFiRiS will receive an up-front payment of €22.5 million (£17.5 million) and could be eligible for future milestone payments and royalties. The total potential value of the agreement could reach €430 million (£334 million) in the event of full commercial success of the candidate vaccines. This agreement is subject to governmental authority approval.

Central to the deal is the AFFiRiS AFFiTOPE technology which allows the design of proteins with very specific binding characteristics that are ideally suited for the development of vaccines against disease-causing `rogue’ human proteins, such as beta-amyloid which is central to the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.

Commenting on the agreement, Walter Schmidt, co-founder and CEO of AFFiRiS, stated, "We are pleased that we could secure GSK Biologicals, one of the world’s leading vaccine companies, in collaborating on the development our Alzheimer’s disease vaccine programmes. This deal brings together two companies with strong innovation, vaccine development and commercialisation capabilities and experience.”

Jean Stephenne, President and General Manager of GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, said, “We are impressed with the AFFiRiS technology - combined with our expertise in innovative adjuvant systems - this collaboration will improve our chance of success in the discovery of new treatments against this major disease.”

Frank Mattner, co-founder and CSO of AFFiRiS, added: “For the treatment of chronic diseases, our AFFiTOPE technology has the potential to deliver innovative vaccines capable of inducing immune responses, with the possibility of beneficial therapeutic effects. We hope that this agreement will ultimately deliver a therapeutic benefit to Alzheimer’s patients.”

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About GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals
GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals (GSK Biologicals) is a global vaccine company which has shown to be a leader in innovation. The company is active in the fields of vaccine research, development and production with over 30 vaccines approved for marketing and 20 more in development. Headquartered in Belgium, GSK Biologicals has 14 manufacturing sites strategically positioned around the globe. In 2007 GSK Biologicals distributed 1.1 billion doses of vaccines to 169 countries in both developed and the developing world – an average of 3 million doses a day. GSK Biologicals employs over 9,000 people worldwide including more than 1,600 passionate scientists engaged in research aimed at discovering innovative vaccines that contribute to the health and well-being of people of all generations around the world.

About AFFiRiS
AFFiRiS GmbH develops peptide-based vaccines for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis and other diseases that urgently require a medical solution. The company has established platform technologies and has a worldwide patent portfolio covering their vaccine candidates. The company employs 35 highly qualified members of staff on 600m² of rented laboratory facilities at the Campus Vienna Biocenter (


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