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A collaboration on mAbs
SAN JOSE, Calif.—Aridis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on targeted immunotherapies using fully human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to treat life-threatening bacterial infections, disclosed today that it has entered into an option agreement with the Serum International BV (SIBV), an affiliate of Serum Institute of India, Ltd., one of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers.
The agreement grants SIBV the option to license multiple programs from Aridis and access the company’s MabIgX platform technology for asset identification and selection. MabIgX is Aridis’ proprietary technology platform to rapidly identify rare, potent antibody-producing B-cells from patients who have successfully overcome an infection to produce mAbs.
“I am pleased to reach agreement for a comprehensive licensing relationship with the Serum Institute, who has built formidable capabilities in monoclonal antibody development and manufacturing as part of its plan to expand into biotherapeutics and transition to a major global biotechnology company,” said Vu Truong, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Aridis Pharmaceuticals.
As part of the option agreement, SIBV made an equity investment of $10 million, whereby Aridis will issue 801,820 shares of its restricted common stock to SIBV at a price of approximately $12.47 per share — approximately a 31% premium to yesterday’s closing share price. Aridis also received an upfront cash payment of $5 million upon execution of this option agreement, and will receive an additional $10 million upon execution of the license agreement by August 31 of this year. Under the license agreement, Aridis will receive future milestone payments for achieving product development and commercial objectives, along with royalties on net sales.
SIBV will have the option to in-license Aridis’ clinical stage programs AR-301(ventilator associated pneumonia), AR-105 (ventilator associated pneumonia) and AR-101 (hospital acquired pneumonia). These license rights will be exclusive and to a limited territory, which includes territories outside of the U.S., Europe, Canada, UK, China, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The option also includes the right to acquire an exclusive worldwide license (excluding China) to AR-201, a preclinical fully human mAb for the prevention of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
“This strategic alliance provides a commercial gateway for our monoclonal antibody (mAb) immunotherapies to be implemented in emerging markets, where the Serum Institute has strong commercial presence,” noted Truong. “More importantly because our targeted anti-infective immunotherapies are effective against antibiotic resistant infections, which are frequently common in developing world and emerging market countries, this partnership allows for the introduction of much needed innovative medicines to regions of the world where antimicrobial resistance is particularly high.”
According to the agreement, SIBV may elect to collaborate with Aridis to utilize MabIgX to identify and advance up to 5 wholly-owned programs for the treatment of infectious diseases of import to the developing world.
“We are excited by the potential to establish a multi-faceted relationship with Aridis as it represents a unique opportunity to add important assets to our commercial product portfolio while bolstering our development pipeline,” added Adar C. Poonawalla, chief executive officer of Serum Institute. “We are encouraged by the data demonstrated to date by these programs, view the MabIgX platform as a promising source for additional pipeline candidates, and are excited to invest in an anti-infective company with a novel approach to treating bacterial diseases using fully human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs).”