Astellas Builds Vaccine Portfolio With Affinivax Pneumococcal Candidate
Despite one recent setback, Astellas is continuing to expand its vaccines business through a new global deal for Affinivax's lead MAPS pneumococcal product, in a move that builds on earlier research links between the companies.
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A potential next-generation, 24-valent, pneumococcal vaccine in development by Affinivax and Astellas has shown strong immunogenicity in a Phase II study and is preparing to enter pivotal Phase III trials; if successful, it will target a growing market currently dominated by big pharma players.
Astellas is funding the company’s Phase II vaccine against 24 pneumococcal serotypes. Affinivax will use its series B venture cash to advance its MAPS vaccines for bacterial and viral infections and cancer.
Funded entirely by grants and partnerships to date, Affinivax’s pneumococcal vaccine candidate has begun a Phase I/II study less than five year’s after the biotech’s founding. Firm thinks its technology may eventually apply to immuno-oncology as well.