NEW YORK and VIENNA, Austria, Feb. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: HOOK, ‘HOOKIPA’), a company developing a new class of immunotherapeutics based on its proprietary arenavirus platform, today announced it has entered into an amended and restated collaboration and license agreement with Gilead to advance the development of a novel arenaviral immunotherapy as a component of a potential functional curative regimen for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
In April 2018, Gilead licensed exclusive rights to HOOKIPA’s versatile arenaviral platform to develop immunotherapies for HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV). Under those terms, the companies agreed to collaborate through a joint research phase, after which time Gilead had rights for further development. Under the amended and restated agreement, HOOKIPA is responsible for advancing the HIV program through the completion of a Phase 1b clinical trial, with funding from Gilead via an upfront payment and equity purchases. At the completion of the Phase 1b trial, Gilead has the exclusive right to assume further development of the program. The HBV portion of the agreement remains unchanged.
“We are pleased to enter into this amended agreement with Gilead which includes provisions that we believe benefit both parties, and we hope ultimately the HIV community,” said Joern Aldag, Chief Executive Officer at HOOKIPA. “Gilead is helping to advance our novel arenaviral platform technology, which has the potential to complement Gilead’s overall research strategies for cures of HIV and HBV.”
Hookipa earned a one-time $4 million preclinical milestone payment under the original 2018 collaboration and license agreement. Upon signing of the amended agreement, Hookipa will receive a payment of $15 million. In addition, Gilead will make a $5 million equity investment in HOOKIPA at a premium to the current market price, and up to an additional $30 million of equity financing that can be drawn at HOOKIPA’s discretion by December 31, 2023.
HOOKIPA’s research collaboration with Gilead to develop a potential functional cure for Hepatitis B virus (HBV) continues to move forward under the original agreement terms. The project progressed successfully into preclinical development, and Gilead plans to advance the program to the IND-enabling stage in 2022, supporting clinical entry of an alternating two-vector arenaviral therapeutic for the treatment of HBV.
For further details on the amended agreement, refer to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 15, 2022.