Imaxio Signs an Option for a Licence Agreement With Merial to Develop an Animal Health Vaccine

Lyon, France, December 17, 2012 – Imaxio, a biopharmaceutical company specialized in the areas of vaccines and genomics, announces today the signing of an option for a licence agreement with Merial, the animal health division of Sanofi (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY). The aim of this agreement is to develop an animal health vaccine based on Imaxio’s immune-enhancing IMX313 technology.

Merial will conduct an internal review of the IMX313 technology for a period of 12 to 18 months and depending on results, will sign a licence agreement. Details of the vaccine candidate and the financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

The aim of IMX313, Imaxio’s proprietary technology for antigen re-engineering, is to significantly enhance the immune response and therefore, the efficacy of vaccines with which it is used. In response to the challenge of certain inefficacious vaccine candidates, IMX313 is a high-potential solution, which would not only enable the dose to be reduced but also the number of revaccinations needed.

"This agreement with a world leader in the animal health sector such as Merial further confirms the significance of our IMX313 technology in developing more efficacious vaccines," said Alexandre Le Vert, managing director of Imaxio. "We are committed to pursuing partnerships to license our immune-enhancing IMX313 technology for new indications. This will enable us to offer even more innovative solutions for key players in the animal health sector and on a larger scale, for vaccinations in general."

“Merial is a clear leader in the development and commercial registration of new vaccine technologies in animal health. We are very pleased to assess the progress of Imaxio’s IMX313 technology and this fits very well into the current strategic needs of Merial,” said Jean-Christophe Audonnet, senior director, research strategy and key alliances, Bio R&D Merial. “This collaboration is an excellent example of the increase in opportunities created in the the Lyonbiopole regional cluster”

About Imaxio SA

Imaxio SA is a biopharmaceutical company specialized in the areas of vaccines and genomics.

Using IMX313, its antigen re-engineering technology, Imaxio is developing, both individually and with its partners, recombinant vaccines with improved effectiveness for applications in both human and animal health. In France, Imaxio already markets Spirolept(R), a human vaccine against leptospirosis.

Imaxio’s genomics division undertakes diagnostic and therapeutic research in the field of oncology and immunology, as well as providing services in the areas of human health, the agro-food business and the environment.

Imaxio was created through the merger between Diagnogene and Avidis, a spin-off from the Medical Research Council and Cambridge University in the UK. The company owns well-founded intellectual property and collaborates with numerous academic partners, including the Jenner Institute at Oxford University.

Imaxio SA is based in Lyon and at Saint Beauzire, near Clermont-Ferrand in France. It has 24 employees, ten of whom are engaged in R&D. In 2011 it delivered a turnover of EUR 2.4 million.

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About Merial

Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,600 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2010 sales were more than USD 2.6 billion.

Merial is a Sanofi company.

Mark Tidmarsh


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