GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced on its website that it has acquired Okairos AG for $325 million / Â£215 million in cash. Okairos is a Swiss-based biotech that specialises in developing vaccine platform technologies, and GSK expect the company's technology to play an important role in its development of new prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines. The deal also includes ownership of a number of early stage assets for diseases such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), malaria, tuberculosis, ebola and HIV.
The Okairos platform technology is based on novel viral vectors that deliver genetic material into cells and stimulate T-cell responses, particular CD8+ cells. The technology's potential has been tested in in clinical studies involving over 700 subjects, including in Phase II programmes for hepatitis C and malaria.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for patients and our research organisation as it is expected to contribute to the development efforts for an exciting new generation of vaccines, building on the excellent science and expertise of both companies," said Christophe Weber, President, GSK Vaccines.
Riccardo Cortese, Chief Executive Officer and founder, Okairos, said: “I am extremely pleased with this agreement, which will enable GSK to build on the hard work we have put into developing our vaccines and platforms to the stage that they are at today.Â With its considerable resources and know-how, I am confident that GSK is best-placed to maximise this opportunity to potentially transform the vaccines landscape."
If you want to know more about strategy and innovation in vaccines, you might be interested in attending the World Vaccine Congress Asia 2013, 17-20 June 2013, Singapore.