Genocea Announces Material Transfer and License Option Agreement with Shionogi for Proprietary GEN-003 HSV-2 Antigens

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Genocea Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNCA), a biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation neoantigen immunotherapies, today announced it has entered into a material transfer agreement (MTA) and exclusive license option with Shionogi & Co., Ltd. to develop a novel HSV-2 vaccine using Genocea’s proprietary HSV-2 antigens from the GEN-003 program, which the company discontinued in 2017. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Shionogi will pay $2 million for the exclusive option to evaluate the HSV-2 antigens and to negotiate a license prior to expiration of the MTA. Upon exercise of Shionogi’s option, terms of the license are expected to include an upfront payment, regulatory and sales milestones, as well as tiered royalties. Final terms of the license agreement will be based on results of the MTA evaluation and overall diligence. If licensed, Shionogi will assume responsibility for global development and commercialization of the HSV-2 vaccine product.

“The HSV-2 antigens were identified by our proprietary ATLASTM platform. This agreement with Shionogi further validates our ATLAS technology to identify clinically relevant and best-in-class antigens across a range of illnesses, including infectious diseases and cancer. We are incredibly pleased to support Shionogi’s efforts to develop a novel vaccine for the millions of people seeking more effective treatment options for their genital herpes disease,” said Chip Clark, President and Chief Executive Officer, Genocea.

“The agreement with Genocea is an important step forward in our ability to discover leading vaccines and therapies that address infectious diseases with high unmet medical need – a core research area of ongoing interest for Shionogi. We are committed to helping genital herpes patients better control outbreaks and preventing further epidemic spread of the virus,” said Dr. Ryuichi Kiyama, Senior Executive Officer, Executive Vice President, Pharmaceutical Research Division, Shionogi & Co., Ltd.

About Genocea Biosciences, Inc.
Genocea’s mission is to conquer cancer by developing personalized cancer immunotherapies in multiple tumor types. Our unique ATLAS™ platform comprehensively profiles each patient’s T cell responses to potential targets, or antigens, on the tumor. ATLAS enables us to optimize the neoantigens for inclusion in our immunotherapies and exclude inhibitory antigens that can exert an immunosuppressive effect. We are advancing two ATLAS-enabled programs: GEN-009, our neoantigen vaccine for which we are conducting a Phase 1/2a clinical trial and expect preliminary clinical results in the third quarter of 2020, and GEN-011, our neoantigen-specific cell therapy using T cells derived from peripheral blood, for which we intend to file an Investigational New Drug Application in the second quarter of 2020. To learn more, please visit

About Shionogi & Co., Ltd.
Shionogi & Co., Ltd. is a major research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to bringing benefits to patients based on its corporate philosophy of “supplying the best possible medicine to protect the health and wellbeing of the patients we serve.” Shionogi’s research and development currently targets two therapeutic areas: infectious diseases, and pain/CNS disorders.

For over 50 years, Shionogi has developed and commercialized innovative oral and parenteral anti-infectives. In addition, Shionogi is engaged in new research areas, such as obesity/geriatric metabolic diseases and oncology/immunology.

Contributing to the health and QOL of patients around the world through development in these therapeutic areas is Shionogi’s primary goal. For more details, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes forward-looking statements, including statements relating to GEN-009 and GEN-011, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Genocea cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties that change over time. Applicable risks and uncertainties include those identified under the heading "Risk Factors" included in Genocea's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 and any subsequent SEC filings. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and Genocea assumes no duty to update forward-looking statements, except as may be required by law.

Investor Contact:
Dan Ferry

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