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  • Hookipa and Gilead will jointly develop therapies for the treatment of HIV and hepatitis B infection
  • The two parties will jointly conduct research and Hookipa will produce Shamir Virus-based vectors for the clinical development of Gilead.
  • This transaction expands the existing cooperation between Hookipa and Gilead – Gilead participated in Hookipa’s Series C financing in December 2017
  • It is expected that the total transaction will exceed 400 million U.S. dollars, including pre- and milestone payments and research and development funds

On June 5, Hookipa Biotech AG and Gilead Scientific announced that they have reached a research cooperation and licensing agreement. Gilead obtained exclusive rights to the use of Hookipa’s TheraT® and Vaxwave® sand virus vector-based immunization technology for two major chronic infectious disease indications, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

According to the terms of the agreement, Gilead will prepay US$10 million. In addition, Hookipa will receive milestone payments totaling up to US$400 million after completing designated development, regulatory and commercial milestones. Gilead will fund all research and development activities. Hookipa will also be eligible to obtain a graded royalty from net sales.

“Gilead’s leading position in the field of innovative therapies for major viral diseases is our ideal partner. It will help us to further develop the drug product line for the benefit of patients. This partnership is strong against our unique immune technology. It is strongly believed that we can concentrate our energies and resources in the field of immuno-oncology.” Mr. Joern Aldag, Hookipa’s CEO, said: “The cooperation in HIV and HBV projects has improved us in the field of infectious diseases including exciting and proprietary preventive CMV. Great efforts on vaccines.”

“Gilead is committed to promoting innovative therapies that functionally cure HIV and HBV,” said Dr. Bill Lee, executive vice president of Gilead Research. “Hookipa’s unique vaccine technology has demonstrated good safety during clinical phase 1 trials. Immunogenicity. We believe that it and Gilead’s other therapies developed in these two disease areas can complement each other. Our ultimate long-term goal is to eliminate the need for life-long antiviral therapy for millions of patients worldwide.”

About Gilead Science

Gilead Science is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, and commercializes innovative therapies in unmet medical needs. The company is dedicated to transforming and simplifying the treatment of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases throughout the world. Gilead operates in over 35 countries around the world and is headquartered in Foster City, California.

About Hookipa Biotech

Hookipa Biotech is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that uses the new proprietary sand virus vector platform to develop next-generation immunotherapy to treat cancer and infectious diseases.
Hookipa’s Vaxwave® technology proposes a new replication-defective viral vector platform designed to overcome the limitations of existing technologies. Vaxwave® is based on the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). In this vector, the gene encoding the LCMV envelope protein (usually responsible for virus entry into the target cell) has been deleted and replaced with the antigen of interest. The resulting vectors infect dendritic cells and stimulate very effective and long-lasting immune responses, but they cannot replicate and are therefore non-pathogenic and inherently safe.

Hookipa’s TheraT® platform is based on an attenuated replicatitic virus and can elicit the strongest T cell response – a critical step in the treatment of invasive cancer patients. Significant preclinical data suggests that TheraT® is a powerful model that can “warm up” cold tumors and produce additional benefits against solid tumors. Specifically, TheraT® has been shown to be safe in animals, capable of inducing a unique and effective antigen-specific CD8 + cytotoxic T-cell response, which exerts powerful control on tumors in mice. The first clinical trial of HB-201 against human papillomavirus-induced head and neck cancer is currently under preparation. This immuno-oncology technique is further used to target tumor autoantigens or to share new antigens.

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