BioDiem licenses Australian hepatitis B vaccine
Under the terms of the contract, BioDiem received an exclusive license for the vaccine technology from the University of Canberra. The technology is also considered to have applications for the development of vaccines for other infectious diseases, according to LifeScientist.com.au.
There is currently no curative treatment for hepatitis B or D, and established treatments involve the ongoing administration of antiviral drugs, and in severe cases, a liver transplant.
Hepatitis B is estimated to affect approximately 1.4 million people in the United States. Hepatitis D, which only infects those already infected with hepatitis B, has a mortality rate of nearly 20 percent.
BioDiem would not disclose the financial terms of the contract, but said they were within what are considered industry standards.
BioDiem CEO Julie Phillips said the company is optimistic about the deal.
"We believe that the development towards a high-value orphan indication may allow us to achieve a rapid entry to clinical trials and eventual out-licensing," she said, LifeScientist.com.au reports.
The hepatitis deal is the second licensing agreement BioDiem has signed with an Australian university in the last week. The company recently announced the formalization of a deal with the Australian National University to acquire technology that targets dengue fever.