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GEN News Highlights : May 19, 2010

Advaxis Pads Listeria Vaccine IP through New Agreement with UPenn

Deal covers 27 additional patents that expire as late as 2023.

Advaxis and the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) signed a patent amendment agreement allowing Advaxis to acquire exclusive licenses for an additional 27 patents related to the firm’s Listeria vaccine technology. Advaxis is leveraging live, attenuated Listeria monocytogenes vaccines to deliver engineered tumor antigens that can stimulate multiple, simultaneous immunological mechanisms to fight cancer.

The company’s technology was developed by Yvonne Paterson, Ph.D., professor of microbiology at UPenn, who also serves as chairperson of Advaxis’ scientific advisory board. The deal is part of the company’s 20-year exclusive, worldwide license arrangement with UPenn. It covers patents that expire as late as 2023.

“Although we are currently in a solid position regarding our technology, IP position, and exclusive licensee status with UPenn, this second amendment ensures our continued growth,” remarks Advaxis chairman and CEO, Thomas A. Moore. “Our patent portfolio is comprehensive and defendable as evidenced in our successful patent defense in European patent court last year.”

As per the terms of the original agreement, Advaxis will reimburse UPenn a portion of the associated licensing fees and all legal expenses. In addition, Advaxis will provide milestone payments upon achievement of Phase III trials, regulatory approval, and commercialization. UPenn will also receive a 1.5% royalty fee.

The firm says that it has nine distinct, cancer-fighting constructs in development, directly and through collaborations with organizations like City of Hope, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, NCI, University of Pittsburgh, and Cancer Research UK. Most advanced is ADXS 11-0001, which is in Phase II testing against cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. The vaccine is also being evaluated in Phase I as a treatment for cancer of the cervix as well as head and neck cancer.