SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

Vivaldi Biosciences acquires assets for clinical stage flu vaccine

Vivaldi Biosciences, Inc., a Fort Collins, Colorado-based biotechnology company, announced the acquisition on Thursday of research and development assets to complement and broaden the company's live attenuated influenza vaccine platform.

Vivaldi acquired the assets from the Glattpark, Switzerland-based Baxter Healthcare SA, which include intellectual property clinical data know-how and materials for LAIVs in which the gene for influenza nonstructural protein I is fully deleted. The prior owner of the assets was the Vienna, Austria-based AVIR Green Hills Biotechnology AG.

NS1 is a multifunctional virulence factor of influenza with a gene that is highly conserved in influenza viruses A, B and C. In four clinical trials evaluating LAIVs with fully deleted NS1 genes, the candidate vaccines were found to be well-tolerated and generated positive immunogenicity data in a dose-dependent manner.

"The considerable achievements by AVIR Green Hills in the development cell-based manufacture and clinical evaluation of delta-NS1 LAIVs combined with Vivaldi's technology platform and programs give us a range of NS1 technology based approaches for LAIVs for these significant unmet needs," Doug Given, the president and CEO of Vivaldi, said.

Vivaldi's platform uses proprietary reverse genetics and plasmid rescue technologies to generate LAIVs with partially-deleted NS1. Vivaldi said the vaccines are safe and provide a potent immune response.

"Acquisition of these assets catapults Vivaldi into a very favorable position for further advancing in clinical trials multiple NS1 technology based LAIVs to address the most pressing public health issues of influenza: the need for effective protection against emerging pandemic influenza strains and the need for greater protection of the most vulnerable population groups - seniors and the very young - against seasonal influenza," Given said.