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Medicago, Philip Morris ink agreement for flu vaccines in China

Friday, September 28, 2012

Medicago, a Canadian biopharmaceutical company focused on vaccines, has signed a licensing agreement with Philip Morris Products, a subsidiary of international tobacco company Philip Morris International.

Medicago grants PMP an exclusive license to develop, commercialize and manufacture Medicago’s pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines for China. In addition, Medicago has signed an exclusive, worldwide license for a portfolio of plant-based protein development technologies from PMP.

Medicago will receive an upfront payment of $4.5 million from PMP. In addition, Medicago is eligible to receive development milestone payments totaling $7.5 million, as well as royalty payments on any future sales of pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines by PMP in China which utilize the Medicago technologies.

In a separate agreement, in exchange for signing an exclusive, worldwide licensing agreement, Medicago has licensed a portfolio of plant-based protein development technologies from PMP. These technologies include tools and methods for producing proteins in plants which are expected to complement Medicago’s existing patent portfolio. Medicago will pay $700,000 to PMP, with no additional milestone payments. PMP is entitled to receive royalty payments on any future sales of Medicago products which utilize the technologies licensed from PMP.

“We look forward to working closely with PMP to develop our pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccine candidates in the coming years,” said Andy Sheldon, CEO of Medicago. “Strengthening our VLP platform and international expansion to emerging markets like China is a key component of our growth strategy, and this partnership represents an important milestone in achieving this strategy.”

Philip Morris Investments, another subsidiary of Philip Morris International, holds approximately 40% of the issued and outstanding common shares of Medicago.

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