Stellar Biotechnologies, Inc. has announced that the Company has acquired the exclusive, worldwide license to patented technology for the development of human immunotherapies against Clostridium difficile infection (“C. diff”) from the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada) (“Guelph”).
The license gives Stellar exclusive rights to develop, manufacture and sell human vaccines to treat C. diff infection that derive from technology covered by Guelph patents. The license also includes human diagnostic applications.
Specifically, the agreement covers a family of international patents and patent applications related to the cell-wall polysaccharide of C. diff named PSII.
“This opens significant new opportunities for Stellar and is an excellent fit in our goal to secure complementary technologies for strategic expansion,” said Frank Oakes, Stellar President and CEO.
Oakes continued, “We hold the world’s leading technology for sustainable manufacture of KLH protein and now we have a strong platform for Stellar’s first proprietary, active immunotherapy program.”
Herbert Chow, Ph.D., Stellar Chief Technology Officer said, “A PSII-KLH conjugate has the potential to be a major infectious disease immunotherapy, and we are concurrently proving the utility of Stellar KLH as a mucosal adjuvant in vaccines which opens the door for a multitude of new uses for Stellar KLH technology.”
Working under an option agreement executed last year, Stellar and Guelph scientists demonstrated in preclinical studies that conjugate vaccines combining PSII technology with Stellar’s KLH protein as adjuvant can protect against primary and secondary C. diff infection.
Last week, Stellar announced that results from the studies will be presented at the International ClostPath Conference this October.
University of Guelph professor Mario Monteiro, discoverer of the C. difficile Polysaccharide II, said, “Stellar’s vision has made it possible for our scientific discovery to migrate from the lab to the hands of industry. I’m confident that in time, this vaccine will prove to have saved many lives.”
“One of our goals at the University of Guelph is to move scientific discoveries out of the laboratories and put them to use to improve the quality of people’s health and daily lives,” said Kevin Hall, Guelph Vice-President Research. “There is no better way to do this than using academic expertise to help industry develop promising new applications that can have a positive impact globally.”
The agreement provides for Stellar to pay Guelph license fees in a combination of cash, stock and warrants, and milestone payments upon achievement of financing, development and sales targets.
Stellar will pay royalties on revenues and reimburse patent costs. Within 30 days of the effective date of the agreement and subject to TSX Venture Exchange approval, Guelph will receive 371,200 common shares and 278,400 warrants.
Each warrant provides Guelph the right to purchase one common share on or before January 24, 2015, at a purchase price of CDN$1.25 per share.
All securities issued under this agreement are subject to a hold period of four months and one day from the date of issuance.