Juvaris strikes collaboration deal on new vaccines

Juvaris has taken a significant new step in its development as a vaccine company. Originally focused primarily on its experimental vaccine adjuvant JVRS-100, Juvaris will announce later today that it has inked a collaboration deal with Antigen Discovery to identify antigen targets for new vaccines. While Juvaris has in-licensed antigens for use in new vaccines, the pact announced today gives Juvaris a path toward identifying a slate of new vaccine candidates.

"We've got clear reach into the antigen arena to continue to create attractive, proprietary vaccines," Juvaris CEO Grant Pickering tells FierceBiotech. "This is really a transformational event for Juvaris. We'll be nominating a series of additional infectious disease targets for Antigen Discovery to run their process."

The deal includes upfront payments and milestones, which are not being revealed. But Pickering is optimistic that the pact creates the foundation for building a successful company in the vaccine arena. "A great adjuvant and a great antigen discovery engine give you the key building blocks for building a great vaccine company."

The pact also helps push the company at a critical point in its development. Pickering says that Juvaris is now in the "final stages" of raising a new round of venture capital. The vaccine company has already gained the backing of Kleiner Perkins. Juvaris announced positive results for a Phase I study involving JVRS-100 in April, A Phase II study will get underway soon with a group of elderly subject and should wrap in the early fall.

- read the Juvaris release