Beltsville firm signs pact to develop vaccine


January 10, 1996

North American Vaccine Inc. said yesterday that it has signed an agreement with a French company under which the companies will jointly develop a vaccine against meningitis B.

The deal could be worth as much as $52 million in fees and payments to the Beltsville company, depending on whether all research milestones provided for in the agreement can be met. Pasteur Merieux Serums & Vaccins has paid $3 million to the Maryland firm so far.

In addition, North American Vaccine would receive royalties on Pasteur Merieux's sales of products developed through the partnership.

Pasteur Merieux and North American Vaccine will each hold co-exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture and sell the meningitis B vaccine.

Pasteur Merieux will pay for clinical development of the vaccine through Phase II clinical trials.

Meningitis B is a bacterially-caused infection or inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, which can lead to such complications as deafness, mental retardation, and blindness. It is the most common form of meningitis in developed nations.

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