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Nov 05, 2007
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Momentum builder

Instead of taking on vaccine powerhouses Merck & Co. Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline plc, both of which market hepatitis B vaccines, Dynavax Technologies Corp. thought it would be more beneficial to join forces to promote its own HBV vaccine. Last week, DVAX chose MRK as its partner, granting an exclusive worldwide license to Heplisav.

Heplisav consists of HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) given with immunostimulatory DNA sequences (ISS) that target toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9). The product is in Phase III testing, with data expected in 1H08.

DVAX President and CEO Dino Dina told BioCentury the company had active negotiations with both pharmas but did not disclose what specifically led DVAX to select MRK (Whitehouse Station, N.J.).

DVAX (Berkeley, Calif.) will receive $31.5 million up front and is eligible for up to $105 million in milestones, plus double-digit royalties. "Considering that the deal is for a single vaccine and a single...

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