Therapy Areas: Vaccines
GSK to acquire Affinivax, Inc.
1 June 2022 -

UK-based pharmaceutical company GSK plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) announced on Tuesday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Affinivax, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Boston, Massachusetts.

Under the purchase agreement, GSK will make a USD2.1bn upfront payment and up to USD1.2bn in potential development milestones.

Affinivax is pioneering the development of a novel class of vaccines, the most advanced of which are next-generation pneumococcal vaccines. Pneumococcal disease includes pneumonia, meningitis, bloodstream infections, and milder diseases such as sinusitis and otitis media and remains a significant unmet medical need despite the availability of current pneumococcal vaccines. There are many different pneumococcal serotypes. The number of serotypes in current vaccines is limited due to the degree of immunological interference observed when using existing conjugation technologies.

Affinivax has developed the Multiple Antigen Presenting System (MAPS), a novel technology that supports higher valency than conventional conjugation technologies, enabling broader coverage against prevalent pneumococcal serotypes and potentially creating higher immunogenicity than current vaccines. Affinivax's most advanced vaccine candidate (AFX3772) includes 24 pneumococcal polysaccharides plus two conserved pneumococcal proteins (compared to up to 20 serotypes in currently approved vaccines). A 30-plus valent pneumococcal candidate vaccine is also in pre-clinical development.

Dr Hal Barron, chief scientific officer and president R&D, GSK, said: 'The proposed acquisition further strengthens our vaccines R&D pipeline, provides access to a new, potentially disruptive technology, and broadens GSK's existing scientific footprint in the Boston area. We look forward to working with the many talented people at Affinivax to combine our industry-leading development, manufacturing, and commercialisation capabilities to make this exciting new technology available to those in need.'