Milestone triggered by GSK exercising its option to alternative vaccine candidates.

AFFiRiS reports that two preclinical programs carried out as part of its collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to develop an active vaccine against Alzheimer disease have been completed successfully. The completion triggered milestone payments of €3.5 million (about $4.8 million) from GSK.

The preclinical work related to finding alternative vaccine candidates on AFFiRis’ Affitome technology. GSK exercised its option to these candidates, which includes a compound called AD03. It will pay €2.5 million (around $3.46 million) for these licenses, and an additional €1 million (approximately $1.38 million) became due simultaneously for the successful completion of tests of alternative vaccine formulations.

AFFiRiS and GSK have worked together for more than two years on this Alzheimer vaccination program. In October 2008, the companies announced a license and option agreement with a total potential value of up to €430 million plus royalties. Of that sum, GSK says that it has already paid AFFiRiS €36 million. In addition to the most recent payment, AFFiRiS received a €22 million up front and a first milestone of €10 million in October 2009.

“Two vaccine candidates, AD01 and AD02, demonstrated satisfactory safety and tolerability profiles in Phase I clinical trials, and AD02 has already been moved forward into clinical Phase II for efficacy testing,” states Walter Schmidt, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of AFFiRiS.

All three of the Alzheimer vaccine candidates are designed to induce antibodies targeting the beta-amyloid peptide, believed to contribute significantly to the pathology of the disease. AD03 additionally targets modified beta-amyloid peptides with their putatively different toxicity profiles in humans.

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