REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Maxygen, Inc. (Nasdaq: MAXY), a biotechnology company focused on the development of improved protein drugs, announced today the license of its proprietary dengue virus antigen technology to sanofi pasteur, the vaccines division of the sanofi-aventis Group.
Under the terms of the agreement, Maxygen will transfer to sanofi pasteur a portfolio of preclinical dengue antigens for development and worldwide commercialization of a second generation vaccine. In addition to royalties, total event payments to Maxygen, including an upfront fee, could total $24.5 million.
The dengue virus is a mosquito-borne pathogen that infects over 50 million people each year, causing 500,000 hospitalizations for Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever/ Dengue Shock Syndrome, according to The World Health Organization (WHO). Without proper treatment, Dengue Shock Syndrome can be fatal.(1) WHO estimates that more than 20,000 people worldwide, mainly children, die each year from infection with the virus. While the majority of deaths occur in tropical and subtropical regions, the virus is spreading to new regions of the world, including Northern Australia, the Middle East, Central America, and the southern part of the United States. WHO estimates that 40 percent of the world's population is currently at risk of dengue infection.(2)
To date, efforts to develop a dengue vaccine have been challenged by
the existence of four different serotypes of dengue virus, all of which are
responsible for the severe form of the disease called Dengue Hemorrhagic
Fever. To overcome this challenge, Maxygen used its proprietary
MolecularBreeding(TM) directed molecular evolution platform. Segments of
|SOURCE Maxygen, Inc.|
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