In a collaboration agreement announced today, Janssen Pharmaceuticals will acquire exclusive rights to Bavarian Nordic's MVA-BN® technology for use in a prime-boost vaccine regimen together with Janssen's AdVac® technology to target all cancers induced by human papillomavirus (HPV).

Janssen will pay $9 million upfront and has committed to potential development and commercial milestone payments together totaling up to $171 million. Janssen will fund all development costs, and Bavarian Nordic will undertake all manufacturing related to MVA-BN.

The companies began their MVA-BN collaboration in 2014, when they evaluated the technology for Ebola and Marburg viruses.

Janssen approach in this study will be similar to that used in the Ebola vaccine regimen which is currently in Phase III clinical trials. According to the company, prime-boost approach has shown to induce a strong and longer-lasting immune response, demonstrated by both increased antibodies and T cell responses. The goal is to develop a vaccine, which aims to treat chronic HPV infections as well as intercept precancerous stages of cancer.

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