The Norwegian biotech company Ultimovacs took over the immunotherapy technology business of the Swedish company Immuneed AB last month.
The complementary technologies of the two companies provide a platform for development of novel vaccine solutions for treatment and possibly prevention of cancer, reports Ultimovacs. The acquired business has been named Ultimovacs AB and is now a fully-owned Swedish subsidiary of Ultimovacs AS. The business is located in Uppsala and has two employees.
“A perfect match”
“In Ultimovacs, we have been looking for an adjuvant technology that can further improve cancer vaccines. Simultaneously, Immuneed has been searching for a peptide based vaccine platform for further testing of their technology. This is a perfect match,” says Øyvind Kongstun Arnesen, CEO of Ultimovacs.
A focus on cancer
Ultimovacs is a Norwegian pharmaceutical company developing novel immunotherapies against cancer. The lead product candidate is UV1, a peptide-based vaccine inducing a specific T cell response against the universal cancer antigen telomerase. UV1 is currently in clinical testing in the US. The purchase price of the technology business of Immuneed AB was NOK 50.4 million, corresponding to SEK 54.5 million, which was paid partly in cash and partly in shares in Ultimovacs AS.
“We are very excited about this merger. By joining forces with Ultimovacs, with their promising cancer vaccine and significant experience from clinical development, we believe the potential of the TET platform technology can be realized and benefit patients faster and better,” says Camilla Huse Bondesson, Chairman of the Board of Immuneed AB.
A potential listing
Ultimovacs will continue the clinical testing of its cancer vaccine UV1 towards a possible approval of the product. Additionally, Ultimovacs will pursue the development of a new first-in-class cancer vaccine solution utilizing the acquired TET-platform. Ultimovacs has started preparations for a potential listing of the company on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The main purpose of the IPO is to ensure financing of the core development projects for the next five years with intent to file for Marketing Authorization of UV1.
Immuneed going forward
Immuneed’s main activity going forward will be to further expand the service business that has been operational since 2014. This business builds on a human whole-blood loop assay for detection of acute immune-related side effects of biopharmaceuticals (cytokine release), which provides a better understanding of first-in-man reactions prior to clinical trial entry.