Firm ultimately plans to combine ETEC vaccine with its own Campylobacter product.

ACE BioSciences has in-licensed Cambridge BioStability’s (CBL) HolaVax, (to be called ACE537) an oral Phase I enterotoxigenic E Coli (ETEC) vaccine.

Under the terms of the agreement, CBL receives an initial upfront payment and rights to milestone and royalty payments dependent on the successful completion of clinical trials and undisclosed sales targets, respectively.

The vaccine, which comprises three different strains of attenuated enterotoxigenic E coli bacteria, is scheduled to complete proof of concept studies in 2009, with potentially the first market launch anticipated in 2013, the companies report. It is differentiated from other competitive ETEC vaccines in development, according to the companies, because it has a dual preventive action: it combats bacterial adherence to and colonization of the small intestine and neutralizes the activity of the LT toxin, a key cause of diarrhea. Its oral delivery formulation is another differentiating factor.

“ACE537 is a perfect strategic fit for ACE BioSciences, since it complements our Campylobacter vaccine and would follow it closely to market,” Ingelise Saunders, ACE BioSciences’ CEO, comments. “Its dual action sets it apart from competitive programs and should enable it to provide greater disease protection. In the first instance we intend to develop it as a stand-alone vaccine, but in the longer term, there is potential to develop an oral combination vaccine to address ETEC and Campylobacter. ”

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