When London-based GSK bought out GlycoVaxyn, it attained a set of early-stage vaccines and authorized the GlycoVaxyn team to form a fledgling company around its existing research operation. The result is Schlieren, Switzerland-based LimmaTech Biologics, which started operations Aug. 28.
While GSK does not own LimmaTech, the pair has struck a five-year agreement for LimmaTech to develop novel bioconjugate antigen-based vaccines exclusively for GSK. And even though GSK will retain ownership of all vaccine products developed by GlycoVaxyn, as well as any new candidates LimmaTech may introduce, the biotech may develop therapeutics outside of vaccines.
“We are extremely pleased with this research-and-development agreement between GSK and LimmaTech Biologics and this very innovative business relationship,” Veronica Gambillara Fonck, LimmaTech’s managing director, said in a prepared statement. “Whilst we aim to retain the agility and innovativeness of a small biotech company in LimmaTech, we will benefit tremendously from the support, expertise and sheer development power that GSK brings.”
An attempt to merge Big Pharma support with the flexibility of a biotech is not new for GSK, which has split its R&D into several smaller teams. But on the vaccines side, the company has been taking a different approach: GSK relocated its U.S. vaccine R&D operations from Cambridge, Mass., and Philadelphia to Rockville, Md., earlier this year. GSK’s two other global vaccine R&D hubs are in Rixensart, Belgium, and Siena, Italy.