GSK

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has acquired Swiss specialist vaccine biopharmaceutical firm GlycoVaxyn in an all-cash transaction for $190m.

Previously holding a minority stake in GlycoVaxyn, GSK has now acquired all the remaining shares in GlycoVaxyn for around $212m (£139m).

GSK vaccines chairman Dr Moncef Slaoui said: "This is an exciting opportunity to expand our research efforts to develop a new generation of vaccines for common and severe bacterial infections, for many of which there are currently no effective vaccines.

"It reinforces our commitment to seek out and invest in great science and complements our proposed transaction with Novartis which will strengthen our leading position in vaccines."

GSK first created a scientific collaboration with GlycoVaxyn in 2012.

GlycoVaxyn has developed a biological conjugation platform technology, which can be used to develop new prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for a range of bacterial diseases.

"This is an exciting opportunity to expand our research efforts to develop a new generation of vaccines for common and severe bacterial infections, for many of which there are currently no effective vaccines."

The technology will allow GSK to develop a simplified conjugate vaccine manufacturing process.

As part of the deal, GSK will acquire early stage vaccines in development against bacterial infections such as pneumonia, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus aureus and Shigellosis.

GlycoVaxyn CEO Philippe Dro said: "At GlycoVaxyn, we are delighted to be working even more closely with one of the leading vaccine companies in the world on the development of much needed vaccines."

GlycoVaxyn has been supported by investments from life science venture capital firms such as Sofinnova Partners , Index Ventures and Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners.

It also secured funding from the Wellcome Trust and through a collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceuticals .


Image: GlaxoSmithKline headquarters in Brentford, London, England. Photo: courtesy of Maxwell Hamilton.