Immunomic licenses allergy vaccine tech to Astellas for $300M

Astellas first joined forces with Immunomic Therapeutics in January, contributing $15 million up front for a vaccine against allergies caused by Japanese red cedar. Now, the duo is entering another partnership, with Astellas handing over $300 million up front for the exclusive license to Immunomic's LAMP-vax technology to develop vaccines for human allergies.

Astellas will gain exclusive worldwide rights to research, develop, manufacture and commercialize any vaccines to treat or prevent human allergic diseases using the LAMP-vax platform, the company said in a statement. Immunomic will be entitled to 10% royalties on net sales of potential products.

Potential products include a vaccine to prevent and treat peanut allergies, as well as vaccines targeting other food and environmental allergies, Astellas said in the statement.

"We are excited that Astellas recognized the potential of LAMP-vax technology to usher in a new era in vaccination against common and serious allergies and are thrilled to be partnering with them again," said William Hearl, CEO of Immunomic Therapeutics, in the statement. "With this new partnership, Astellas can explore the LAMP-vax platform for allergic disease, while we continue applications in other areas, like cancer immunotherapy."

The LAMP-vax technology was developed at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and licensed to Immunomic in 2006.

As for Astellas' earlier collaboration with Immunomic, the Japanese company has initiated Phase I trials for the red cedar pollen vaccine. Also in the allergy space, U.K.-based Allergy Therapeutics is developing a grass allergy vaccine, and Switzerland-based Anergis is working on a vaccine for birch allergies.

- here's the release