Intercell expands late-stage pipeline with $189 million Iomai acquisition

Chris Anderson
VIENNA, Austria—Intercell AG  and Iomai Corp. announced yesterday that thecompanies entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Intercell willacquire Iomai for $6.60 per share representing a fully diluted equity value ofapproximately $189 million. Intercell will gain full rights to Iomai's latestage Travelers' Diarrhea vaccine which is based on Iomai's proprietaryneedle-free patch delivery vaccine technology and has shown positive interimPhase II efficacy data. The Travelers' Diarrhea vaccine is expected to enterpivotal Phase III trials in the first half of 2009.

 
"We have built a dynamic and scientifically drivenorganization," says Stanley C. Erck, president and CEO of Iomai. "Thisstrategic combination with Intercell will create a stronger, more diversifiedvaccine company, will accelerate the development of Iomai's vaccine programsand fully leverage our innovative TCI technology."

 
If approved, the medical use of Iomai's Travelers' Diarrheavaccine will be highly complementary with Intercell's Japanese Encephalitisvaccine for which a Biologics License Application was successfully submitted tothe FDA in December 2007, and for which Intercell expects market approvals inthe US, Europe and Australia later this year. Together, according to thecompanies, both vaccines will a Traveler's Vaccine franchise which will targeta combined market opportunity of over $1 billion in sales per year.

 
"This transaction further expands our leadership in vaccineinnovation, greatly enhances Intercell's R&D technology base and furtherstrengthens our late stage vaccine portfolio," says Gerd Zettlmeissl, CEO ofIntercell. "Building on our proven experience in industrialization and inmoving novel products to the market, Intercell is fully committed to becomingthe leading pure play vaccine company globally."

 
The vaccine for traveler's diarrhea has a large potentialmarket, as each year approximately 55 million international travelers willvisit countries where bacteria that cause travelers' diarrhea are endemic,particularly Africa, Asia and Latin America. The CDC estimates that 20 to 50 percent of internationaltravelers contract diarrhea. Of greater concern is the effects can progressbeyond acute symptoms. Between 10 and 30 percent of those who developtravelers' diarrhea will develop the chronic symptoms of irritable bowelsyndrome.

 
Intercell will also gain full rights to two additionalclinical and three preclinical programs under development, the most advancedbeing an immunostimulant vaccine patch in Phase II for pandemic influenza. Thispatch is designed to enhance the immune response compared to injected pandemicinfluenza vaccines. If successful, it would have the effect of expandinglimited vaccine supplies by allowing public health officials to use fewer orlower doses of the vaccine. 

 

Chris Anderson

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