LONDON - Peptide Therapeutics Group plc, of Cambridge, has agreed to a deal with the vaccine manufacturer Pasteur Merieux Connaught France, of Lyon, and its partner, OraVax Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., to develop a vaccine for Helicobacter pylori, the major cause of stomach ulcers.

Under terms of the agreement, Pasteur Merieux will pay Peptide to incorporate its proprietary H. pylori antigens into Peptide's Salmonella typhi oral vaccine delivery system. The vaccine company will then test the vaccine construct in its validated model systems of H. pylori infection.

A spokesman for Peptide told BioWorld International Pasteur Merieux will fund the work on the vaccine construct, which should take less than 12 months to complete. If Pasteur Merieux takes up an option on the product, Peptide will receive license, up-front and milestone payments, as well as royalties.

The deal grants Pasteur Merieux worldwide rights for an H. pylori vaccine, but leaves Peptide free to license the delivery vehicle for other vaccines. - Nuala Moran