Largest biotech agreement ever made in Norway
Our member Vaccibody signs multi-million-dollar agreement one week before the company is expected on the stock exchange.
The Norwegian cancer company Vaccibody has entered a worldwide license and collaboration agreement with Genentech / Roche, to develop personalized cancer vaccines.
The agreement is worth up to 715 million dollars (approximately NOK 6,7 billion) in near term and milestones, in addition to low double-digit tiered royalties on sales of commercialized products. This makes it the largest agreement ever made in the Norwegian biotechnology sector. It is also the eighth largest biotechnology agreement made in Europe this year.
Michael Engsig, CEO of Vaccibody, said:
“We are very excited to have entered into this transformative agreement that marks the start of a new era for Vaccibody.”
“Genentech is widely recognized as one of the foremost leaders in leveraging the immune system to develop therapies for cancer and is a scientific pioneer within the neoantigen cancer vaccine space. They are therefore the partner of choice for the further development and commercialization of our innovative next-generation cancer vaccine platform for generating individualized therapies.”
This news comes about a week before Vaccibody is expected to be listed on Merkur Market, a part of the Oslo Stock Exchange.
- Read the press release: Vaccibody enters into worldwide license and collaboration agreement with Genentech, a member of the Roche group, to develop individualized neoantigen vaccines
A skyrocketing story
Vaccibody is dedicated to developing and discovering novel cancer treatments in the immunotherapy area. This is a type of treatment that boosts the body’s own immune system to recognise and destroy cancer cells.
The company was founded 13 years ago by Agnete Fredriksen, together with her mentors Professor Bjarne Bogen and his colleague Professor Inger Sandlie – two leading researchers in the Norwegian cancer innovation environment. Fredriksen is now President and Chief Scientific Officer of Vaccibody.
Over the last year, the company’s value has more than doubled several times and the company was valued at NOK 15,3 billion when markets closed on 1 October 2020.
Anders Tuv, Investment Director of Radforsk and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Vaccibody, has a solid track record of helping biotech companies develop in the oncology sphere. Tuv said:
“The deal with Genentech is a very significant endorsement of Vaccibody and a validation of the Vaccibody vaccine platform. Genentech, as one of the foremost leaders in leveraging the immune system to develop therapies for cancer, is the partner of choice to develop and commercialize individualized cancer vaccines. The deal will enable Vaccibody to accelerate and broaden the Company’s vaccine pipeline which we believe will unlock Vaccibody’s huge potential for patients and shareholders.
“This is a deal that generates substantial interest globally, and will put eyes on Norway as well.”
New strategy and focus
Vaccibody also presented a new strategy with expanded focus into research and development. The company wants to accelerate the development of existing drug candidates and detect new treatment options, based on the company’s technology.
The company’s technology platform will be extended to the discovery of other therapeutic areas and therapeutic methods, besides the present focus on cancer and infectious disease.
- Read the press release: Vaccibody announces update on expanded R&D focus and strategy
Promising cancer therapies
Vaccibody presently has two promising drug candidates. The first is a cancer vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is currently being tested in a phase II trial on cervical cancer, in collaboration with Roche.
The second is an innovative personalized cancer vaccine, which has just been licenced to Genentech, and is specially designed for each individual cancer patient, independent of their cancer type.