Australian biotech firm CSL negotiated an option to license Pevion Biotech’s early clinical-stage therapeutic Candida vaccine for commercialization in Australia and New Zealand. The virosome-based vaccine is in development for the treatment of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (chronic recurrent thrush). The firms in addition signed a long-term supply agreement under which CSL will manufacture specific biolgocial components used by Pevion in the in vitro assembly process for its virus-like particle virosome technology, which form the basis of the latter’s in-house and partnered pipeline products.
Swiss firm Pevion’s virosome technology is a carrier and adjuvant system designed specifically for subunit vaccines, and has already been used for development of the marketed vaccines Epaxal® and Inflexal® V (both marketed by Crucell). The firm’s most advanced product, a virosome-based malaria vaccine candidate PEV3, has been outlicensed to Mymetics and is in late-stage clinical development. Mymetics also holds a license to a Phase I-stage HIV vaccine program.
Pevion’s remaining in-house pipeline is headed by PEV7, which is being developed both for intramuscular delivery and intravaginal delivery for treating recurrent thrush. The firm reported postive data from an ongoing Phase I clinical trial back in November 2010. Pevion’s development programs in addition include a respiratory syncytial virus candidate, PEV4, which is in late-stage preclinical development, and an early clinical-stage HER2-targeting breast cancer candidate, PEV6, has been licensed out to BioLife Science.