GalaGen Inc., a privately held company developing orally-deliveredbovine antibodies to treat human gastrointestinal diseases, licensedChiron Corp.'s adjuvant technology to enhance the potency ofGalaGen's drug candidates.
The agreement between GalaGen, of Arden Hills, Minn., andEmeryville, Calif.-based Chiron focuses on an adjuvant, called MF-59, developed by The Biocine Co., a division of Chiron.
GalaGen intends to use the adjuvant in the production of its leadproduct, Sporidin-G, to boost the effectiveness of the bovineantibody. Sporidin-G is being developed as a treatment ofcryptosporidium parvum, which causes chronic diarrhea in AIDSpatients.
GalaGen and Chiron also will collaborate on developing bovineantibody treatments for helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that causesulcers and gastritis and has been linked to gastric cancer.
Under terms of the agreement, Chiron received preferred shares inGalaGen for rights to use the MF-59 adjuvant in Sporidin-G. In theH. pylori drug development portion of the collaboration, Chiron hasthe option of purchasing warrants for additional GalaGen preferredshares. The options would be exercised based on achievement ofdevelopment milestones and could be worth up to $6.5 million infunding to GalaGen.
GalaGen's president and CEO, Robert Hoerr, said Sporidin-G isbeing studied in Phase I/II trials involving 24 patients at SanFrancisco General Hospital. The trials are expected to be completethis summer. Hoerr said the MF-59 adjuvant provides "a several-foldincrease in antibody potency."
Hoerr said GalaGen has the option of expanding its use of Chiron'sadjuvant technology beyond development of products targeting H.pylori and cryptosporidium parvum. The deal would require GalaGento pay an additional licensing fee as drug candidates are identified.
GalaGen was formed in 1992 as a spin-off company from the dairycooperative, Land O'Lakes Inc. GalaGen derives its bovineantibodies from the colostrum milk of dairy cows. _ Charles Craig
(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.