FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

GSK acquires Okairos to strengthen vaccines business

GlaxoSmithKline, a research-based pharmaceutical company, announced on Wednesday that it acquired Okairos AG, a developer of vaccine platform technologies, as part of a $325 million deal.

Okairos has developed a novel vaccine platform that could play a part in GSK's development of new prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines. The platform technology is based on novel viral vectors meant to stimulate immune responses and protect against and treat cancer and infectious diseases.

The acquisition also includes a small number of early stage assets.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for patients and our research organization as it is expected to contribute to the development efforts for an exciting new generation of vaccines, building on the excellent science and expertise of both companies," Christophe Weber, the president of GSK Vaccines, said.

GSK said the acquisition reinforces the company's commitment to investing in innovative science. GSK will take full ownership of Okairos and assume ownership of early stage assets for diseases like HIV, ebola, tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis C virus and respiratory syncytial virus.

"I am extremely pleased with this agreement, which will enable GSK to build on the hard work we have put into developing our vaccines and platforms to the stage that they are at today," Riccardo Cortese, the CEO and founder of Okairos, said. "With its considerable resources and know-how, I am confident that GSK is best-placed to maximize this opportunity to potentially transform the vaccines landscape."