Stellar Biotechnologies acquires license for Clostridium technology
Stellar acquired the license from the Ontario-based University of Guelph, which gives the company exclusive rights to develop, manufacture and sell human vaccines to treat infection from the C. difficile bacterium. C. difficile is a growing cause of mobility and mortality in hospitalized patients and caused more than 330,000 infections in the U.S. in 2009.
"This opens significant new opportunities for Stellar and is an excellent fit in our goal to secure complementary technologies for strategic expansion," Frank Oakes, Stellar's president and CEO, said. "We hold the world's leading technology for sustainable manufacture of KLH protein and now we have a strong platform for Stellar's first proprietary, active immunotherapy program."
Working under a 2012 option agreement, Stellar and Guelph scientists showed in preclinical studies that conjugate vaccines combining Guelph's cell-wall polysaccharide technology with Stellar's immune-stimulating keyhole limpet hemocyanin technology protected against primary and secondary C. difficile infection.
"A PSII-KLH conjugate has the potential to be a major infectious disease immunotherapy, and we are concurrently proving the utility of Stellar KLH as a mucosal adjuvant in vaccines which opens the door for a multitude of new uses for Stellar KLH technology," Herbert Chow, the chief technology officer at Stellar, said.
Under the terms of the agreement, Stellar will pay Guelph license fees in a combination of stock, cash, warrants and milestone payments upon the achievement of developing, financing and sales targets.
"Stellar's vision has made it possible for our scientific discovery to migrate from the lab to the hands of industry," Mario Montiero, a university professor who discovered the PSII, said. "I'm confident that in time, this vaccine will prove to have saved many lives."