Bavarian Nordic and Janssen to develop vaccines against HIV-1 and hepatitis B


Danish biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic has entered an additional worldwide exclusive licence and collaboration agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals for the development of vaccine regimens against HIV-1 and hepatitis B.

Under the collaboration, Janssen secures exclusive rights to Bavarian Nordic’s MVA-BN technology for two additional programmes that target vaccines against hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HIV-1.

The potential agreement value totals up to $879m, including upfront, equity investment and milestone payments.

Bavarian Nordic president and CEO Paul Chaplin said: “We are very excited about this additional collaboration with Janssen, and proud to deploy our MVA-platform in the fight against two diseases with such an enormous impact on global health.

“This agreement builds upon the science and data we have seen to date, which has shown the potential that a combination of our two platforms could serve many patients in a wide range of disease areas. We welcome this expansion of what has already been a fantastic relationship between our two companies.”

"This agreement builds upon the science and data we have seen to date, which has shown the potential that a combination of our two platforms could serve many patients in a wide range of disease areas."

As part of the agreement, Janssen will offer an upfront payment of $10m and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, which operates as an investment arm of Johnson & Johnson, will provide $33m in an equity investment by subscription of new Bavarian Nordic shares.

In addition, Bavarian Nordic will be eligible to receive milestone payments based upon the achievement of specified development, regulatory and sales milestones up to a total of $836m, apart from tiered royalties on future sales.

With the addition of programmes targeting HBV and HIV-1, the two companies are currently working in collaboration on four product development programmes that combine Bavarian Nordic’s MVA-BN technology with Janssen’s AdVac technology platform.

The transaction is expected to conclude during the third quarter of this year.


Image: Electron micrograph of hepatitis B virus. Photo: courtesy of CDC.