Valneva SE has announced that it has signed an exclusive license agreement with the Chinese company Jianshun Biosciences Ltd to commercialize Valneva’s EB66® cell line for the manufacturing of human and veterinary vaccines in People’s Republic of China only.
The Partner, Jianshun Biosciences Ltd, headquartered in Lanzhou (People’s Republic of China), provides bio process and technology services for Chinese biopharmaceutical companies. Dr. Luo Shun, Founder and President of the company, is one of the "thousand people plan" experts (thousands of foreign experts, or returning-Chinese talents) who have been nominated by the Central Government to work in China and promote innovation and technological development primarily in the high-tech and financial industries. Dr. Luo Shun worked in the USA for Amgen and for Genentech.
Under the terms of the agreement, Jianshun Biosciences Ltd is granted rights to sublicense Valneva’s EB66® cell line to Chinese vaccine companies which will then be able to develop, manufacture and commercialize, in the People’s Republic of China Territory only, human and veterinary viral vaccines using the EB66® cell line.
All vaccines against influenza for use in humans are excluded from the license agreement. Valneva will receive an upfront license payment of EUR 2.5 million and an additional payment of EUR 0.5 million in 2016, as well as annual maintenance fees and 50% of total revenues payable to Jianshun Biosciences Ltd from its sub licensees. These payments should contribute to further improve the profitability of the EB66® cell line in the coming years.
Valneva remains the full owner of the EB66® platform and will continue to license its technology outside China.
Thomas Lingelbach, President and Chief Executive Officer and Franck Grimaud, President and Chief Business Officer of Valneva, commented “This agreement is an important step forward in the international roll-out of our EB66® platform and we think this is now the right time to address the Chinese market. We are very pleased to collaborate with Jianshun Biosciences Ltd and are convinced that Jianshun Biosciences Ltd and its CEO, Dr Luo Shun, are the right partners to promote our cutting edge technology among the local vaccine industry, which is booming.”
China, as an emerging vaccine market, represents a major opportunity for Valneva. The government has made a priority to better protect the population from diseases, especially in endemic areas and China’s vaccine manufacturers are moving ahead to become global suppliers of affordable vaccines.
China’s human vaccine market is comprised of 42 vaccine manufacturers and in 2013 the total quantity of vaccines manufactured in China amounted to about 755 million doses. Chinese vaccine manufacturers consist of state-owned enterprises, private enterprises and foreign-funded enterprises. The state-owned enterprises take the leading position with a 62% market share, followed by private enterprises and foreign-funded enterprises with a market share of 34% and 4% respectively.
To date, Valneva has more than 35 license agreements with the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies for the use of its EB66® vaccine production platform in both human and animal health vaccines. Valneva’s proprietary platform has enabled three veterinary vaccines and one human vaccine to be commercialized.