PaxVax joins the marketed vaccines club with Crucell typhoid buy

PaxVax CEO Ken Kelley

PaxVax isn't just a vaccine developer anymore. The company is moving into the vaccines market with the pickup of a typhoid vaccine from Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) subsidiary Crucell, locking up $62 million in financing in the process.

The California company shelled out an undisclosed sum for Vivotif, an oral typhoid vaccine, as well as a manufacturing facility near Bern, Switzerland, and commercial responsibility for the product in certain markets, including the U.S. It will also gain some other assets related to travel vaccines like hepatitis A, it said earlier this week.

As part of the acquisition, PaxVax closed up to $50 million in secured debt financing from an investment fund managed by Pharmakon Advisors and $12 million in an extension on its Series B preferred stock.

"With its recent acquisition of Vivotif from Crucell, PaxVax has emerged as an exciting new player in the global travel vaccine market," Martin Friedman, managing member of Pharmakon Advisors, said in a statement. "We are pleased to be partnering with PaxVax in support of their efforts to build a world-class vaccine company."

PaxVax will use additional proceeds from the financing to support clinical development, regulatory review and an expected global launch of its cholera vaccine candidate, PXVX0200, which is currently in Phase III trials. And speaking of that cholera candidate, if it wins approval, PaxVax should have a leg up on its launch thanks to its new buy, CEO Ken Kelley told FierceVaccines.

"The established Vivotif sales channel provides a great platform for us as we prepare for the commercialization of our cholera vaccine candidate if approved by regulatory authorities," he said in an email.

In the meantime, PaxVax will be competing with Sanofi ($SNY) in the typhoid space. The French drugmaker's offering, Typhim Vi, saw top-line growth that helped push the company's second-quarter sales of travel and other endemic vaccines up by 11.2% to €103 million, Sanofi said Thursday. But Vivotif has its selling points, Kelley said, noting that PaxVax' new vaccine is "oral and longer-lasting."

- read the deal release
- read the financing release