Intercell AG

euro adhoc: Intercell AG
Joint Ventures/Cooperation/Collaboration
Intercell and Merck expand strategic alliance to develop prophylactic vaccine and antibody treatments against Group A Streptococcus

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26.10.2006

» Agreement includes a USD 9.5 million upfront payment, up to USD 76
million      milestone payments as well as royalties on future net
sales of the product

Intercell AG (VSE "ICLL") today announced that it has extended its strategic partnership with Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Ltd., an affiliate of Merck & Co., Inc., to include development of a prophylactic vaccine against Group A Streptococcus infections.

The agreement is based on antigens that were discovered and validated by Intercell’s proprietary bacterial Antigen Identification Program (AIP®). The agreement also includes an option for Merck to develop human monoclonal antibodies directed against antigens identified by Intercell to treat and protect against severe infections caused by Group A Streptococcus. Infection with Group A Streptococci is responsible for a significant disease burden globally, sometimes causing severe complications, such as necrotizing fasciitis, requiring hospitalization and on occasion resulting in severe disabling consequences to the patient.  The pathogen is ubiquitous and highly infectious.  Even with uncomplicated infections, most frequently pharyngitis, also known as strep throat, patients often have to go through multiple cycles of antibiotic treatment.  Strep throat is one of the most common reasons for visits to the pediatrician and the leading cause of antibiotic treatment in children.

Under the terms of the agreement, Intercell will provide to Merck certain Group A Streptococcus-specific antigens identified by its Antigen Identification Program (AIP®) that have promising profiles in preclinical vaccine models. Intercell will receive an upfront payment of USD 9.5 million and is eligible to receive milestone payments up to USD 76 million over the term of the agreement. Intercell will also receive royalties on future net sales of the product.

"The agreement reinforces the value of our Antigen Identification Program (AIP®)," said Alexander von Gabain, Chief Scientific Officer of Intercell. "The AIP® has become a key source in the development of novel vaccines and monoclonal antibody treatments. We are pleased to broaden our existing relationship with Merck with the addition of this important new target."

"Merck has been a world leader in bringing vaccines to the market to combat diseases that cause significant morbidity and mortality," said John Shiver, Vice President Vaccines and Biologics Research, at Merck.  "Our efforts to develop a vaccine against Group A streptococcus infections demonstrate Merck's continuing commitment to combat infectious diseases through innovative vaccines."

About Group A Streptococcus infections

Group A streptococci are frequent colonizers of the throats of healthy children and can cause a spectrum of severe infections, including pharyngitis, respiratory infections, rheumatic fever, nephritis, and skin and soft tissue infections. An important childhood manifestation of the disease is scarlet fever. Group A streptococci are usually transmitted from person to person through direct contact or inhalation of respiratory secretions.  Many people are asymptomatic carriers of Group A streptococci and under certain circumstances, up to 70% of children may be colonized by this organism.  Thus, Group A streptococci are readily acquired in the community and induce a high disease burden.

About Intercell’s AIP®:

Intercell’s Antigen Identification Program® identifies novel vaccine targets from a variety of pathogens. Through the AIP®, a large number of novel proteins relating to a wide variety of infectious diseases have been successfully identified. In addition, certain product candidates identified are currently partnered with either Sanofi Pasteur S.A., or Merck & Co., Inc., and Kirin while others form the basis for development projects that are planned to be either developed in-house or partnered with third parties.

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ots Originaltext: Intercell AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch

Further inquiry note:
Intercell AG
Mag. Katharina Wieser
Head of Corporate Communications
Tel. +43 1 20620-303
kwieser@intercell.com

Branche: Biotechnology
ISIN:      AT0000612601
WKN:        A0D8HW
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / official market



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