on Tuesday announced a research collaboration with Merck & Co, to discover and develop Live Biotherapeutics for vaccines.
4D pharma’s proprietary MicroRx® platform will be paired with MSD's development and commercialisation expertise, to discover and develop vaccines in up to three indications, which were undisclosed.
The AIM listed pharmaceutical company also entered into an option to license agreement with MSD, where it is eligible for upfront cash payments for each indication and up to $347.5 million in option exercise and development and regulatory milestone payments.
It is also eligible for tiered royalties on annual net sales of any licensed products derived from the collaboration.
4D Pharma also has the right, subject to certain conditions, to cause MSD to purchase $5 million of 4D shares during the first year of the collaboration.
Shares in 4D Pharma were trading 25% higher at 130p in early morning trading
Duncan Peyton, 4D's Chief Executive Officer, commented: "This research collaboration agreement brings together 4D's innovation in the microbiome space and MSD's track record of developing cutting-edge vaccines.”
He added: “MSD and 4D have worked closely combining world leading science to develop a workplan to advance the understanding of this field, with the aim of generating a new class of vaccines in areas of high unmet need."
MSD will be responsible for development, manufacturing and commercialisation following the exercise of any of its exclusive options.
Daria Hazuda, Chief Scientific Officer of MSD's Exploratory Science Center and MSD's Vice President of Infectious Diseases and Vaccines Discovery Research, commented: "A key element of our focus in the Exploratory Science Center is the evaluation of emerging new areas of biology that have the potential to offer major beneficial impact to human health.”
“By applying 4D's MicroRx® technology we hope to gain meaningful insights into the role for the host microbiome in modulating the immune response and ultimately protection conferred by vaccines."
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