Cambridge, UK and Cambridge, Massachusetts – 20 March 2008 – Acambis plc (Acambis) (LSE: ACM) announces that it has extended its ChimeriVax™-JE vaccine licensing agreement with sanofi pasteur, the vaccines division of the sanofi-aventis Group, to include India and the Indian subcontinent.
Acambis announced in February 2007 that it had granted sanofi pasteur marketing, distribution and certain manufacturing rights to Acambis’ single-dose ChimeriVax™-JE vaccine against Japanese encephalitis (JE). This agreement excluded the US, India and the Indian subcontinent. Acambis had an existing agreement with Bharat Biotech International Limited (Bharat Biotech) for India and Indian subcontinent, which Acambis and Bharat Biotech have mutually agreed to terminate. Acambis has granted rights over those territories to sanofi pasteur.
Acambis will receive from sanofi pasteur an upfront payment, a milestone payment on licensure of the vaccine in India and royalties on sales in these territories. Bharat Biotech has made a significant contribution towards the development of ChimeriVax™-JE and Acambis has agreed to compensate Bharat Biotech. The net financial effect is positive for Acambis.
As with the existing agreement, Acambis will supply bulk ChimeriVax™-JE vaccine to sanofi pasteur from its Canton, MA facility. Ian Garland, Chief Executive Officer of Acambis, said, “This extended agreement will enable both Acambis and sanofi pasteur to benefit from a more co-ordinated approach in the JE endemic region. ChimeriVax™-JE is an important vaccine for a devastating disease and we are keen to progress towards licensure as quickly as possible.”
According to the World Health Organization, 30,000 to 50,000 people suffer from JE annually, mainly in Asia1. During a recent epidemic in northern India and Nepal, JE killed more than 1,000 people, most of them children2. An estimated three billion people live in JE-endemic regions, which include India, Thailand, China, Japan and parts of Australia.
1 WHO, Water-Related Disease, Japanese encephalitis (www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/diseases/encephalitis/en/)
2 WHO, Regional Office for South-East Asia, Immunization and Vaccine Development, Japanese encephalitis (www.searo.who.int/en/section1226/section2073.asp)
Ian Garland, Chief Executive Officer
Elizabeth Jones, Chief Financial Officer Lyndsay Wright, VP, Communications and IR
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 275 300
Jon Coles / Justine McIlroy / Annabel Entress
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959