GreenLight licenses mRNA shingles vaccine to Serum Institute following a $10M investment
GreenLight Biosciences has come a long way from trying to shake up the pesticides market.
The Medford, MA biotech signed a deal Monday with the Serum Institute of India to design three mRNA products, including a shingles vaccine, for development, manufacturing and commercialization in a number of markets around the world.
GreenLight will retain the rights to North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan and South Korea, while SII will get a tech transfer to work in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and much of Asia. The deal piggybacks off of a $10 million investment made by Serum Life Sciences in November 2021.
GreenLight will receive upfront payments and is eligible for exclusivity, development milestones, and manufacturing technology transfer payments. Meanwhile, SII will pay for the development, manufacturing and commercialization for each emerging market, as GreenLight will retain a percentage of those profits.
“GreenLight’s approach resonates with our mission to make healthcare equitable for all,” SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said in a statement. “Messenger RNA technology will play a key role in reducing the burden of human suffering caused by vaccine-preventable diseases across LMICs.”
There is an option to expand the license to two additional vaccines or therapies to be named later, GreenLight said in a release, and the shingles vaccine manufacturing process will be transferred to the SII facility in Pune, India.
The company was founded in 2008 to use its mRNA technology mostly on agriculture, including honeybees and crops. Since an August reverse-merger, the company has been working on a vaccine for seasonal flu and a treatment for sickle cell disease.
It also landed a $1.5 billion valuation, and has proposed building seven new mRNA manufacturing facilities to bring global capabilities up to snuff. GreenLight’s platform combines two mRNA approaches — one that involves fermentation-based processes and another utilized by high-profile companies like Moderna and BioNTech involving transcription, and that helps produce products at a higher scale in a more affordable manner.
In December, GreenLight inked a deal with Samsung Biologics to manufacture its mRNA Covid-19 vaccine commercially. Right around that same time, SII announced that it would waive its protection from legal liabilities for any AstraZeneca-Oxford doses it provided to COVAX, in an effort to provide millions of migrants with access to the Covid-19 jab.
Many manufacturers require protection from any side effects. That is not able to be guaranteed if there is no government, as in a situation with a nonprofit alliance such as Gavi. Asylum seekers, refugees, detainees, and people who are stateless are all eligible.
SII was founded in 1966 with the goal of making lifesaving drugs across the world, and benefiting global health as well.