US biopharma firm Aridis Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARDA) announced today that it has entered into an option agreement with the Serum International BV (SIBV), an affiliate of Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by dose units.
The agreement grants SIBV the option to license multiple programs from Aridis and access the company’s MabIgX platform technology for asset identification and selection.
As part of the option agreement, SIBV made an equity investment of $10 million whereby Aridis will issue 801,820 shares of its restricted common stock to SIBV at a price of approximately $12.47 per share which represents approximately 31% premium to yesterday’s closing share price. In addition, Aridis received an upfront cash payment of $5 million upon execution of this option agreement and will receive an additional $10 million upon execution of the license agreement by August 31, 2019.
The upfront payment is refundable should the parties not complete the license agreement. Furthermore, under the license agreement, Aridis will receive future milestone payments for achieving product development and commercial objectives, along with royalties on net sales.
Under the terms of the agreement, SIBV has the option to in-license Aridis’ clinical stage programs AR-301(ventilator associated pneumonia), AR-105 (ventilator associated pneumonia), and AR-101 (hospital acquired pneumonia): these license rights will be exclusive and to a limited territory, which includes territories outside of the USA, Europe, Canada, UK, China, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
The option includes the right to acquire an exclusive, worldwide license (excluding China) to AR-201, a pre-clinical fully human monoclonal antibody (MAb) for the prevention of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). In addition, under the agreement SIBV may elect to collaborate with Aridis to utilize MabIgX to identify and advance up to five wholly-owned programs for the treatment of infectious diseases of import to the developing world.
MabIgX is Aridis’ proprietary technology platform to rapidly identify rare, potent antibody-producing B-cells from patients who have successfully overcome an infection to produce mAbs. – The Pharma Letter