Bavarian Nordic AS entered a EUR17.6 million (US$15.5 million) vaccine delivery collaboration with PowderJect Technologies Ltd., which will become a 5.63 percent shareholder in Bavarian after the deal closes.

Oxford, UK-based PowderJect, a wholly owned subsidiary of PowderJect Pharmaceuticals plc, said the contract covers delivery of undisclosed vaccines based on Bavarian’s vaccine technology.

“We’re not saying what this vaccine is, and therefore we’re not really saying anything about the pipeline, either,” said Rob Budge, PowderJect’s director of corporate communications. “This is a supply contract we can’t go into a lot more detail on it.”

Bavarian manufactures the vaccine through a contractor under an existing collaboration. Production preparations have begun, and Copenhagen, Denmark-based Bavarian expects delivery to be completed before the end of the year. The parties will negotiate a license agreement allowing PowderJect to market and produce the vaccine in selected territories.

“I think we’ve deliberately not laid out in detail exactly what’s happening,” Budge said. “Purposely [we’ve] kept it short and sweet, just to give the heads up on what’s happening, as per our obligations, I guess, but we really can’t go into the intimate details.”

Bavarian will receive an undisclosed up-front payment, as well as predetermined consecutive payments, as deliveries take place.

Bavarian said it expects the agreement to pave the way to an extensive strategic collaboration with PowderJect.

PowderJect will buy 200,000 new shares of Bavarian at DKK90 per share, providing Bavarian with gross proceeds of DKK18 million (US$2.1 million). The DKK90 price per share corresponds to the average market price of the stock over the last 10 days of trading, with a negotiated premium.

The agreement is not contingent on subsequent regulatory approval of the vaccine, and may be terminated by PowderJect only in the event of a material breach by Bavarian, a takeover or bankruptcy.

Bavarian and PowderJect also plan to enter into an exclusive license and technology transfer agreement that would provide PowderJect with exclusive rights to manufacture and market the vaccine in selected territories against royalty payments to Bavarian. That agreement is expected to be concluded within 60 days from the original. The territories covered by that agreement do not include countries in which Bavarian is already in advanced negotiations regarding the delivery of vaccines.

In addition, PowderJect also was granted an opportunity to negotiate a license to manufacture and sell Bavarian’s MVA-BN vaccine technology for HIV and other infectious diseases, excluding cancer.

Bavarian said it expects to enter into a number of additional agreements this year.

Bavarian said its current cash position, coupled with the proceeds from the new share issue to PowderJect and the up-front payment, will be sufficient to fund operations through June. The company expects to carry out a new share issue in May or June.

PowderJect’s portfolio of products includes vaccines for influenza, yellow fever, travelers’ diarrhea, cholera, tuberculosis, polio and tetanus. Bavarian has four ongoing clinical programs, as well as preclinical and research programs for a number of infectious diseases and cancer.