Nabi scores $540 million pact with GSK for NicVAX

Nabi Biopharmaceuticals has wrapped a licensing deal worth potentially more than $540 million with GlaxoSmithKline for its experimental therapy designed to treat nicotine addiction and prevent smokers who kick the habit from tearing open a fresh pack. Nabi gets $40 million of that upfront with more than a half billion dollars in option fees and milestones for the vaccine and possible follow-on vaccines.

Nabi is currently spearheading the first of two planned late-stage trials of NicVAX, with Glaxo holding the rights on development work past late-stage trials. In parallel with the Phase III studies, and independent of whether it exercises its option to in-license NicVAX, GSK will be developing a next-generation nicotine vaccine based on Nabi's intellectual property together with GSK's own technology. Nabi also gets double digit royalties on sales of NicVAX and any next-gen vaccines for nicotine.

"If approved, this smoking cessation vaccine technology could be a novel solution to help the millions of smokers who want to stop smoking and remain abstinent; a habit that is well documented to be very hard to stop permanently," said Jean Stephenne, president of GSK Biologicals.

- take a look at Nabi's release
- here's the Reuters story