GSK (LSE/NYSE:GSK) has wrapped up its acquisition of the privately-held biopharma Affinivax.
Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Affinivax has established a vaccine technology platform known as Multiple Antigen Presentation System (MAPS), designed to elicit a strong B-cell and T-cell immune response.
GSK was attracted to Affinivax, given its aim to bolster its portfolio of specialty medicines and vaccines.
Affinivax’s most advanced program is the AFX3772 vaccine candidate for streptococcus pneumoniae, which is currently in a Phase 2 trial. AFX3772 is a 24-valent vaccine candidate. In addition, the company is planning a Phase 3 study of AFX3772.
In July 2021, FDA awarded the AFX3772 Breakthrough Therapy designation to protect against S. pneumoniae invasive disease and pneumonia in adults 50 and older.
On a related note, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) recently announced positive data related to a 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine candidate.
Affinivax is also working on a 30-plus valent pneumococcal candidate, which is now at the pre-clinical stage.
The MAPS platform
The company notes that its MAPS platform supports the development of vaccine candidates with a high valency.
“Affinivax’s exciting pneumococcal vaccine candidates, the potentially disruptive MAPS technology and their fantastic scientific talent, further strengthen our pipeline of novel vaccines and presence in the Boston area,” said Tony Wood, GSK’s chief scientific officer, in a news release.
GSK announced its intent to acquire Affinivax in late March for $2.1 billion upfront. It could shell out an additional $1.2 billion in milestone payments.
Pneumococcal vaccines can be significant money-makers. Last year, Pfizer’s Prevnar family of vaccines generated $5.3 billion in revenue.
GSK shares nudged up 0.76% to $35.20.
In mid-July, GSK completed its demerger with Haleon (LON:HLN).
Recently, GSK and HLN shares have seen their shares dip, given rising investor worries about U.S. litigation related to the heartburn drug Zantac over concerns about carcinogen exposure.
The former company officials rebranded from GlaxoSmithKline earlier this year.