Genocea Biosciences Signs Exclusive License Agreement with Children’s Hospital Boston for Novel Streptococcus Pneumoniae Antigens

Genocea Biosciences announced an exclusive worldwide license for developed countries to a portfolio of Streptococcus pneumoniae antigens from Children’s Hospital Boston

CAMBRIDGE, MA, USA | Mar 18, 2010 | Genocea Biosciences, a vaccine discovery and development company, today announced an exclusive worldwide license for developed countries to a portfolio of Streptococcus pneumoniae antigens from Children’s Hospital Boston. PATH and Genocea retain certain co-exclusive rights to the antigens for use in developing countries under their collaboration agreements with Children's Hospital Boston. These antigens were identified through a 2008 research collaboration between Genocea, PATH and Children’s Hospital Boston to develop a protein subunit vaccine. This license grants Genocea the right to develop and commercialize vaccines that incorporate these novel antigens.

“The antigens we discovered with Genocea and PATH may prove invaluable in the development of vaccines to prevent the devastating diseases associated with S. pneumoniae infection.”

“This agreement results from our successful collaboration with PATH and Children’s Hospital Boston,” said Staph Leavenworth Bakali, Genocea’s president and chief executive officer. “The acquisition of rights to these co-developed S. pneumoniae antigens significantly bolsters our vaccine development pipeline. By leveraging our antigen vaccine technology, we hope to develop the next generation vaccine and significantly improve both the activity and cost effectiveness of existing multivalent pneumococcal vaccines.”

Genocea and Children’s Hospital have completed pre-clinical proof of concept studies on an S. pneumoniae vaccine developed using these antigens. The company and the group from Children’s Hospital will be presenting the results at the upcoming Seventh International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases, March 14-18, 2010.

“Impressive progress has been made in the development of vaccines against pneumococcus, but with the high childhood mortality still associated with pneumococcal disease in developing countries, there remains a significant medical need for further advances in this area,” said Richard Malley, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics and member of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital Boston. “The antigens we discovered with Genocea and PATH may prove invaluable in the development of vaccines to prevent the devastating diseases associated with S. pneumoniae infection.”

About Streptococcus pneumoniae

S. pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus, is a bacterium that can cause pneumonia, meningitis (brain infection and inflammation), acute otitis media (middle ear infections that can lead to a child becoming deaf), bloodstream infections (bacteremia), and sinus infections. According to the World Health Organization, S. pneumoniae is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children worldwide and particularly in developing countries. Although all age groups may be affected, the highest rate of pneumococcal disease occurs in children under five years of age and in the elderly. In addition, persons suffering from a wide range of chronic conditions and immune deficiencies are at increased risk.

About Genocea Biosciences

Genocea Biosciences was founded in 2006 to commercialize key breakthroughs in vaccine discovery and development. The company’s proprietary T cell-directed antigen discovery program represents a broad platform with the potential to generate significant novel vaccines for multiple pathogens with high, unmet medical need. Genocea is currently developing vaccines for Chlamydia trachomatis (a sexually transmitted disease agent causing an estimated 90 million cases worldwide), Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumonia is the leading killer of children under the age of five worldwide) and other undisclosed targets. Genocea was recognized by BusinessWeek as one of the “World’s Most Intriguing Startups” for 2009. In 2008, Genocea was selected as “Best Vaccine Startup” at the World Vaccine Congress and was selected one of the 15 most exciting biotech startup companies by FierceBiotech. Genocea is backed by leading investors including Lux Capital Management, Polaris Venture Partners, SR One, Auriga Partners, Cycad Group, Morningside Ventures and Alexandria Real Estate Equities. Visit www.genocea.com for more information.

About PATH

PATH is an international, nonprofit organization that creates sustainable, culturally relevant solutions, enabling communities worldwide to break longstanding cycles of poor health. By collaborating with diverse public- and private-sector partners, PATH helps provide appropriate health technologies and vital strategies that change the way people think and act. PATH’s work improves global health and well-being. For more information, visit www.path.org.

About Children’s Hospital Boston

Children’s Hospital Boston is home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 500 scientists, including eight members of the National Academy of Sciences, 11 members of the Institute of Medicine and 12 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children’s research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children’s Hospital Boston today is a 397-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Children’s also is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information about the hospital and its research visit: www.childrenshospital.org/newsroom.

SOURCE: Genocea Biosciences

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