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Shionogi and HanaVax Enter into a License Agreement for COVID-19 Vaccine Development

Shionogi and HanaVax will advance research and development of an innovative, next generation nasal vaccine to protect people from the threat of COVID-19.

Shionogi & Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Osaka, Japan; President & CEO: Isao Teshirogi, Ph.D.; hereafter “Shionogi”) and HanaVax Inc. (Head Office: Tokyo, Japan; President & CEO: Mizuhiro Ishimaru; hereafter “HanaVax”), a drug-discovery venture company originating from the University of Tokyo, announced they have entered into a license agreement for development of novel nasal vaccine candidates for COVID-19 using HanaVax’s cationic nanogel delivery system (cCHP)

cCHP is HanaVax's unique delivery technology using cationic cholesteryl group-bearing pullulan. When administered intranasally, it can effectively induce immunity in the respiratory mucosa, and the whole body, without the pain caused by conventional injections. In emerging countries where the medical environment is not well established, it may be difficult to administer vaccines by injection, and from the viewpoint of medical access, there is an increasing need for a nasal vaccine as an easy-to-use preparation globally.

Shionogi and HanaVax signed a license agreement for a Streptococcus pneumoniae nasal vaccine last year. With this new agreement, Shionogi is granted exclusive global rights to research, develop, manufacture, distribute, and commercialize COVID-19 nasal vaccines using cCHP technology. HanaVax will receive an upfront payment and milestones relating to future development progress, as well as royalties based on net sales of the vaccine.

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Shionogi and HanaVax will advance research and development of an innovative, next generation nasal vaccine to protect people from the threat of COVID-19, by combining Shionogi’s expertise in infectious diseases with HanaVax’s pioneering research and technology related to mucosal immunity.

About HanaVax’s cationic nanogel delivery system (cCHP)
Mucosal immunity is of great importance for the prevention of respiratory system infections because the respiratory mucosa is the first line of defense against pathogens. HanaVax’s proprietary cationic nanogel delivery formulation provides a protective carrier for antigens consisting of a polysaccharide pullulan molecule modified with cholesterol and cationic amines. The nanogel increases the retention time of antigens on the mucosal surface and increases gradual uptake by immune cells. This effectively initiates the induction of both mucosal and systemic immunity.

Source: Shionogi
Date: Jul 19, 2021


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