Maxygen will transfer to sanofi pasteur a portfolio of preclinical dengue antigens. In addition to royalties, total payments to Maxygen, including an upfront fee, could total $24.5 million.
Sanofi pasteur will pursue the development and worldwide commercialization of a second-generation vaccine. According to the companies, efforts to develop a dengue vaccine have been challenged by the existence of four different serotypes of dengue virus.
To overcome this challenge, Maxygen used its MolecularBreeding™ directed molecular evolution platform. Segments of DNA from the four virus subtypes were recombined, with the goal of creating antigens that could produce a protective immune response against all four virus subtypes with a single vaccine candidate.
“This agreement will allow Maxygen's dengue antigen technology to be advanced using sanofi pasteur's vaccine research and development expertise and worldwide commercial infrastructure,” notes Russell Howard, CEO of Maxygen. “This allows us to create value from our vaccine discovery assets while maintaining our internal focus on protein therapeutics.”