Medicago and Immune Design announce vaccine development partnership

Immune Design and Medicago, Inc., announced on Thursday that have agreed to a license agreement that will allow Medicago to use Immune Design's Toll-like Receptor 4 agonist, Glucopyranosyl Lipid A.

Medicago is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that develops novel vaccines, along with therapeutic proteins. Its vaccines are used to address varying infectious disease around the world.

Immune Design is a clinical stage biotechnology company that develops next generation, therapeutic, and preventative vaccines for malignant, infectious and allergic diseases.

The agreement will allow Medicago a worldwide, nonexclusive license to develop and commercialize GLA as a component of its Virus-Like Particles based vaccines. Medicago can also use GLA for the research and developing of pandemic influenza vaccines.

"The established clinical safety and immunogenicity profile of Immune Design's synthetic TLR4 agonist, GLA, make it an ideal adjuvant for our VLP-based influenza vaccine candidates," Andy Sheldon, Medicago's president and chief executive officer, said. "We will further investigate the use of both formulated GLA and alum in our Phase II H5N1 trial which was recently initiated with results expected during the summer of 2013."

Medicago will use GLA for its H5N1 vaccine, which has completed a successful U.S. Phase I clinical trial. Medicago recently started a Phase II trial using its H5N1 candidate with the GLA and alum adjuvants. The results are expected to be released in the summer of 2013.