Neovacs and Stellar Biotechnologies have collaborated to form a new biotech company called Neostell SAS. Neovacs will own 70 percent of the new company and Stellar Biotechnologies will own the remaining 30 percent.
Neovacs is a European leader in immunotherapies developed to treat autoimmune diseases. It’s lead active immunotherapy candidate is IFNα-Kinoid, which is being developed for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, commonly called lupus) and dermatomyositis.
Neovacs is also conducting preclinical development works on other therapeutic vaccines in the fields of allergies, oncology and auto-immune diseases.
Stellar Biotechnologies, based in Boston, is the leader in manufacturing keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH), a carrier protein widely used to produce conjugated vaccines due to its immune-stimulating properties. Stellar has been supplying KLH to Neovacs for many years. It is an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in several immunotherapies as well as a finished product for measuring immune status. Stellar’s KLH is a strategic component of IFNα-Kinoid.
The collaboration will strengthen both companies through the new Neostell SAS, which will produce all of Neovacs’ kinoids, particularly IFNα-Kinoid, and all conjugated therapeutic vaccines for third parties.
“We are very proud to have Stellar Biotechnologies as our partner in this project, as the company is the only worldwide supplier of KLH protein based on aquaculture,” Neovacs CEO Miguel Sieler said in a press release. “This protein is a strategic component for the production of IFNα-Kinoid, and Stellar’s expertise in production of conjugated vaccines brings an added value to our know-how in this field.”
The production will start as soon as positive results are in from the ongoing Phase 2b study assessing IFNα-Kinoid in lupus. The new site will be located near Paris, France, and is expected to create between 50 and 100 job positions. Stellar’s CEO, Frank Oaks, said, “We are very confident about the positive development of this project. Our mutual expertise will be useful to manufacture the kinoid vaccine and will allow us to position ourselves successfully in the market of conjugated therapeutic vaccines, which will most likely have a strong growth in the future based on the many ongoing clinical trials.”