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GSK acquires Okairos, strengthens vaccines business

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare company, has acquired Okairos, a specialist developer of vaccine platform technologies, for approximately $325 million in cash.

Okairos has developed a novel vaccine platform technology which is expected to play an important role in GSK’s development of new prophylactic vaccines (designed to prevent infection) as well as new classes of therapeutic vaccines (designed to treat infection or disease). Okairos’ technology complements GSK’s existing vaccine technology and expertise and will enable GSK to continue its work developing the next generation of vaccines. The deal also includes a small number of early stage assets.

GSK will take full ownership of the company and assume ownership of early stage assets for diseases such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), malaria, tuberculosis, ebola and HIV, supplementing the company’s existing vaccines pipeline. GSK and the Okairos management team will collaborate over the next few months to develop ways of working that will maintain the autonomy and agility of this biotech firm which will be strengthened by the support and advantages that GSK can provide.

Okairos was supported by investments from the following life science venture capital firms: BioMedInvest, the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, LSP, Novartis Venture Funds and Versant Ventures.

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