Nabi closes license deal for smoking vaccine candidate

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Nabi Pharmaceuticals said March 8 that it closed an option and license agreement for the smoking vaccine candidate NicVAx with GlaxoSmithKline, the Associated Press reported.

The deal is potentially worth more than $500 million, including a $40 million upfront payment to Nabi and future milestone and royalty payments.

The companies announced the deal in November.

Nabi is developing NicVAx, which is intended to train the immune system to make antibodies that will attach themselves to nicotine. The goal is to keep the nicotine molecules from reaching the brain so people can quit smoking and not start again.

GlaxoSmithKline, based in London, will also start developing a second-generation version of the vaccine.