AstraZeneca adds respiratory vaccine pipeline through $1.1bn Icosavax deal

AstraZeneca will add a virus-like particle vaccine technology and a Phase II respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) through the planned acquisition of Icosavax.

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

December 14, 2023

2 Min Read
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AstraZeneca will add a virus-like particle vaccine technology and a Phase II respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) through the planned acquisition of Icosavax. 

AstraZeneca will pay $838 million upfront, but through potential contingent value payments the deal is expected to reach $1.1 billion. If the tender offer is successfully completed, Icosavax will be merged with an AstraZeneca subsidiary. 

“The transaction with Icosavax and AstraZeneca is pending. Icosavax expects to file with the SEC a solicitation/recommendation statement in the coming weeks,” a spokesperson for Icosavax told BioProcess Insider.

AstraZeneca already plays in the RSV space with its approved monoclonal antibody Bayfortus (nirsevimab), a preventative single-dose medicine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD) in newborns and infants.  

Through this acquisition, AstraZeneca aims to expand its experience with RSV by taking over the development of Icosavax’s IVX-A12 and other differentiated virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines for high-burden respiratory diseases. 

Icosavax, a US-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company using a novel protein VLP technology to generate differentiated, high-potential vaccines, has developed IVX-A12, a combination protein vaccine targeting human metapneumovirus (hMPV) and RSV. 

According to the firm, it is a potentially first-in-class, Phase III-ready vaccine that targets both viruses. Hospitalization and severe respiratory infections are caused by both viruses in adults 60 years of age and older, as well as in individuals with chronic conditions like respiratory, kidney, and cardiovascular disease. There are currently no treatments or preventative therapies for hMPV and no combination vaccines for RSV. 

“We are pleased to announce the proposed acquisition of Icosavax by AstraZeneca as we believe it offers the opportunity to accelerate, and expand access to, our potential first-in-class combination vaccine for older adults at risk from RSV and hMPV. We look forward to combining our skills and expertise in advancing the development of IVX-A12, with AstraZeneca’s decades of experience in RSV, resources, and capabilities in late-stage development,” said Adam Simpson, CEO of Icosavax. 

According to Phase II results, IVX-A12 induces strong immune responses against both hMPV and RSV one month after vaccination, which supports earlier findings on immunogenicity from the Phase I study. 

About the Author(s)

Shreeyashi Ojha

Reporter, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering the manufacturing and processing sectors for biopharmaceuticals globally.  

Originally from India, I am a Londoner at heart. I have recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London.  

Feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

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