GSK, Intercell enter deal to develop needle-free, patch-based vaccines

LONDON and VIENNA — GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals and Intercell on Dec. 11 announced an agreement to form a strategic alliance to accelerate the development and commercialization of needle-free, patch-based vaccines.

The agreement will include Intercell’s candidate vaccine for travelers’ diarrhea and an investigational single-application pandemic influenza vaccine, as well as the use of the patch technology for other vaccines in GSK’s portfolio.

Included in the agreement are Intercell’s investigational TD vaccine, currently in Phase III, and an investigational single application pandemic influenza vaccine in Phase II, as well as other potential future patch vaccines.

“This novel technology has real potential to change the way vaccines are delivered in the future,” said Jean Stephenne, president of GSK Biologicals. “GSK has an extensive portfolio of vaccines and we believe needle-free vaccination could offer benefits such as simplified administration and increased compliance.”

Each year, approximately 20 million international travelers develop TD while visiting endemic areas in Asia, Africa and South America. Currently, there is no vaccine available to address this medical need. GSK and Intercell will collaborate on the TD Vaccine Patch, currently in phase III, to commercialize this vaccine once it has gained regulatory approval. The agreement will also include a collaboration between the two companies to further develop and co-market an innovative pandemic influenza vaccination approach.

Patch technology could make vaccines easier to administer, faster to deliver, and could result in lower or fewer doses.

Intercell is developing a pandemic influenza patch that is designed to enhance the immune response to existing injected pandemic influenza vaccines. If successful, the patch will expand the limited vaccine supplies by allowing fewer or lower doses of vaccine, the two companies say.

Under the terms of the agreement, GSK will make an up-front cash contribution of approximately $49 million, in addition to an equity investment of up to $121 million through a staggered shareholding purchase option of up to 5 percent in Intercell.