Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (“ITI”), a privately-held biotechnology company developing next generation vaccines based on the LAMP-vax platform, today announced that it has entered into an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Astellas Pharma Inc. on LAMP-vax products for the treatment or prevention of any and all allergic diseases in humans. Upon execution of the agreement, Immunomic Therapeutics will receive an upfront payment of $300 million and be entitled to receive 10 percent royalties based on net sales of the potential products for allergic diseases while retaining the rights to the LAMP-vax platform for other applications, including cancer immunotherapy.
The LAMP-vax platform utilizes the body’s natural biochemistry to develop a complete immune response, including antibody production, cytokine release and critical immunological memory directed toward a chosen protein.
“The LAMP-vax platform has enormous potential to broadly impact human health. Our recent work in developing a new approach to treating allergies could be life-changing for allergy sufferers, including those that are at high risk for a strong reaction to peanut,” said Dr. William G. Hearl, chief executive officer of Immunomic Therapeutics. “We are excited to partner again with Astellas, and the large scale and scope of this partnership allows Immunomic to focus our efforts on other applications like oncology, where we have seen promising results from early stage studies of LAMP-vax-based cancer immunotherapy.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Astellas has acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to research, develop, manufacture, and commercialize any potential LAMP-vax products designed to prevent and treat allergic diseases in humans, including ARA-LAMP-vax for peanut allergy as well as other research-stage programs for food or environmental allergies.
“Allergy remains a major challenge in modern medicine and there has been limited progress in developing a highly effective strategy in preventing and treating allergy,” said Dr. Shan Lu, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry, University of Massachusetts Medical School. “It is exciting to see that LAMP-vax based DNA vaccination in early phase clinical studies showed potential promise in redirecting the immune responses in order to control the symptoms of allergy.”
The science and technology behind LAMP-vax emerged from $20 million grant by the National Institutes for Health to Dr. Tom August, MD, Distinguished Service Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences and Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 2006, ITI acquired the exclusive worldwide license to the LAMP technology patent estate.
“We are thrilled that this transformative work, another example of Johns Hopkins pioneering research, is being further developed with great potential to benefit society at large,” said Neil Veloso, Executive Director of Technology Transfer at Johns Hopkins. “Achieving the successful translation of our technologies enables us to fulfill the promise of our research mission.”