SEATTLE and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Immune Design Corp. (Nasdaq:IMDZ), a clinical-stage immunotherapy company, today announced that it has entered into a broad collaboration for the development of a herpes simplex virus (HSV) immune therapy with Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi (EURONEXT:SAN) and (NYSE:SNY).
Sanofi Pasteur and Immune Design will each contribute product candidates to the collaboration: Sanofi Pasteur will contribute HSV-529, a clinical-stage replication-defective HSV vaccine product candidate, and Immune Design will contribute G103, its preclinical trivalent vaccine product candidate. The collaboration will explore the potential of various combinations of agents, including leveraging Immune Design's GLAASTM platform, with the goal to select the best potential immune therapy for patients.
The two companies will develop the products jointly through Phase 2 clinical trials, at which point Sanofi Pasteur intends to continue development of the most promising candidate and be responsible for commercialization. Sanofi Pasteur will bear the costs of all preclinical and clinical development, with Immune Design providing a specific formulation of GLA from the GLAAS platform at its cost through Phase 2 studies. Immune Design will be eligible to receive future milestone and royalty payments on any product developed from the collaboration; other financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
"Instead of being limited to a single approach, the companies are joining forces and combining multiple cutting-edge technologies with the goal to develop the most effective and safe immunotherapy to address HSV infection, a significant unmet medical need," said Carlos Paya, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Immune Design. "With other clinical and preclinical GLAAS-based product candidates in development, both with partners and internally at Immune Design, I believe this new collaboration continues to demonstrate the productivity and broad applicability of this platform."
About G103 and GLAAS
G103 is a trivalent vaccine candidate consisting of recombinantly-expressed viral proteins adjuvanted with a specific formulation from Immune Design's GLAAS platform. The combination of a novel molecular toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) agonist with rationally selected antigens is designed to boost pre-existing T cells and trigger a broad antibody response, allowing for prophylactic and therapeutic immunization.
The GLAAS platform works in vivo and is based on a small synthetic molecule called GLA, which stands for glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant. GLA selectively binds to the TLR4 receptor and causes potent activation of dendritic cells (DCs) leading to the production of cytokines and chemokines that drive a Th1-type immune response. When GLA is accompanied by an antigen and injected into a patient, the combination is taken up by DCs and leads to the production and expansion of immune cells called CD4 T helper lymphocytes with a Th1 phenotype. These CD4 T cells play a key role in boosting pre-existing cytotoxic T cells that are specific to the same antigen; and providing help to other immune cells, including B lymphocytes that are the precursor to antibodies, and natural killer cells that are also important in the overall immune response. Immune Design believes that GLAAS-based product candidates have the potential to target multiple types of cancer, as well as infectious, allergic and autoimmune diseases. Product candidates leveraging GLAAS' core technology have now been evaluated in over 1000 subjects in Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials.
About Immune Design
Immune Design (Nasdaq:IMDZ) is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company employing next-generation in vivo approaches to enable the body's immune system to fight disease. The company's technologies are engineered to activate the immune system's natural ability to create and/or expand antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells, while enhancing other immune effectors, to fight cancer and other chronic diseases. Immune Design's three on-going immuno-oncology clinical programs are the product of its two synergistic discovery platforms: ZVexTMand GLAASTM, the fundamental technologies of which were licensed from the California Institute of Technology and the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI), respectively. Immune Design has offices in Seattle and South San Francisco. For more information, visit www.immunedesign.com.
Immune Design Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "may," "will," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend", "believe" and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Immune Design's expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release. Each of these forward-looking statements involves risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release include statements regarding efforts to develop products under the collaboration, the potential receipt of milestone and royalty payments and the potential to develop new therapeutics. Factors that may cause actual results to differ from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements in this press release are discussed in Immune Design's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), including the "Risk Factors" section of Immune Design's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on September 8, 2014 and in any subsequent filings with the SEC. Except as required by law, Immune Design assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in expectations, even as new information becomes available.
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