GSK and Intercell to develop needle-free vaccines

GSK and Intercell have formed a strategic alliance to develop and commercialise innovative needle-free patch-based vaccines.

The agreement will include Intercell’s candidate vaccine for travelers’ diarrhoea (TD) and an investigational single-application pandemic influenza vaccine, as well as the use of the patch technology for other vaccines in GSK’s portfolio.

Under the terms of the agreement, GSK will make an upfront cash contribution of EUR 33.6 million, in addition to an equity investment of up to EUR 84 million through a staggered shareholding purchase option of up to 5% in Intercell.

Gerd Zettlmeissl, Chief Executive Officer of Intercell, said: “This new partnership is combining the forces of Intercell’s innovative needle-free vaccination program and technologies with a vaccine leader’s strength in development and commercialisation.

“In addition, we can pursue our business strategy of creating significant shareholder value as an independent company whilst continuing to develop one of the most innovative product pipelines in the industry.”

The patch technology opens up a new method of vaccine delivery that could make the vaccines easier to administer and faster to deliver, and can result in lower or fewer doses.

The Vaccine Patch is a needle-free delivery technology that can be used to enhance the effect of injected vaccines, and to develop new vaccines that require transcutaneous administration because the antigen cannot be delivered safely through other routes.

“This novel technology has real potential to change the way vaccines are delivered in the future. GSK has an extensive portfolio of vaccines and we believe needle-free vaccination could offer benefits such as simplified administration and increased compliance,” said Jean Stephenne, President of GSK Biologicals.

“This agreement demonstrates how, as an integral part of our R&D program, we not only look at new vaccines but also at alternative approaches to oral and intramuscular administration.”