Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Everest Medicines has inked two definitive agreements to license an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine from Canada’s Providence Therapeutics Holdings, the two companies announced on Monday.
The move reflects the pharmaceutical firms’ aim to bring a very effective inoculation platform into China despite its evident resistance to coronavirus vaccines from western countries.
In a statement, Everest said that the deal will allow it to gain rights to Providence’s vaccine in Greater China and countries including Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand.
Under the terms of the transaction agreements between the two companies, Everest will be paying US$100 million (S$134 million) cash upfront for access to the vaccines and mRNA technology, and up to US$100 million in profit-sharing.
The agreement also indicates that Everest will pay up to US$300 million in stock if additional products are developed using Providence’s mRNA technology platform.
“I am excited to work with Providence and we share in their passion to make affordable, innovative, high-quality medicines available to patients in need. We believe that mRNA vaccines for COVID19 can provide another option in the armamentarium for fighting this pandemic. The platform will enhance our discovery efforts and will allow us to explore the promise of mRNA therapies for patients across a variety of key disease areas,” said Dr. Kerry Blanchard, CEO of Everest Medicines.
“We’re thrilled to enter into this agreement with Everest as we work together to bring PTX-COVID19-B, to people in need in Asia and help combat COVID-19,” Providence Therapeutics CEO Brad Sorenson said in a statement. “Unlike other mRNA vaccine developers, Providence is committed to enabling tech transfer in regional centers which in turn gives these local countries the capability to take greater control of planning for pandemic vaccine needs at affordable prices.”
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