CSL Limited enters into License and Option Agreement with Merck Co. Inc. for its Iscomatrix® Adjuvant Technology

CSL Limited enters into License and Option Agreement with Merck Co. Inc. for its Iscomatrix® Adjuvant Technology

Melbourne, Australia — 24/08/2005

CSL Limited, Australia’s leading biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has signed a license and option agreement with Merck & Co. Inc., of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, USA, granting certain rights and options to Merck in a number of fields for the use of CSL’s ISCOMATRIX® adjuvant in Merck’s pipeline of investigational vaccine products.

“This agreement builds upon the considerable investment and commitment that CSL has made in this technology in the last 10 years” said Dr Andrew Cuthbertson, Chief Scientific Officer at CSL. He added,  “CSL has developed proprietary industrial scale processes for the manufacture of ISCOMATRIX® adjuvant including a fractionation process for the critical saponin components. ”

“Merck's continued and serious commitment as a leader in the area of vaccines is driven by the magnitude of the unmet medical need in both infectious and non-infectious diseases.  This latest collaboration with CSL underscores our significant research and development commitment to this area by pursuing the use of the ISCOMATRIX® adjuvant across a range of investigational vaccine programs at Merck,” said Dr. Mervyn Turner, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Licensing and External Research for Merck. 

“Further, this agreement highlights our continued belief in the importance of accessing the most promising new technologies from outside Merck that complement our existing pipeline,” Dr. Turner added.  “We look forward to a fruitful collaboration with CSL."

Under the terms of the agreement, CSL will receive certain payments upon achievement by Merck of development and regulatory events, and royalties on vaccine product sales.  In addition, Merck will make option payments to CSL upon the exercise by Merck of licenses to certain additional uses.  CSL will supply all of Merck requirements for the ISCOMATRIX® adjuvant for development and commercialization.   CSL will also receive distribution rights in Australia for certain vaccines developed using this technology.  Additional financial terms were not disclosed.

Note to Editors
An adjuvant is a technology that improves or modifies the body’s immune response to an antigen.  Adjuvants play an important role in the development of innovative vaccines, by potentially generating more potent, durable immune responses. 

For further information please contact:

Media - Dr Rachel David 0401 775 779
Analysts – Mark Dehring 0423 780 328

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