Vivalis: partnering with Sanofi Pasteur for the discovery of human monoclonal antibodies against infectious diseases

29 June 2010

Vivalis announced, on Tuesday 8th June 2010, the signature with Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, of a commercial license and collaboration agreement for the discovery and development of fully human monoclonal antibodies against several infectious diseases targets.

The terms of the agreement

Sanofi Pasteur and its affiliates acquire

  • exclusive access to the Humalex® platform for the discovery of human monoclonal antibodies targeting several clinically significant infectious diseases, and
  • will obtain worldwide exclusive development and commercialization rights for the discovered antibodies.

The Humalex® platform

The Humalex® platform is a potent technology for the discovery of fully human monoclonal antibodies produced by activated and immortalized B lymphocytes isolated from selected human donors. Humalex® was developed by Humalys SAS, a Lyon-based biotechnology company acquired by Vivalis in January 2010,

It is used for the discovery and development of human monoclonal antibodies for both therapeutic and diagnostic applications.


Vivalis will receive an upfront payment of 3 million Euros, and development milestone payments up to 35 million Euros per infectious disease, as well as royalty payments associated with product sales.

In addition, Sanofi Pasteur will finance collaborative research activities.


Sanofi Pasteur

"Passive immunization can be a powerful treatment option against infectious diseases in sometimes life threatening situations. Vivalis' Humalex® technology allows rapid identification of clinically relevant fully human antibodies, as well as their cognate antigen. This opens up new medical solutions to prevent or treat serious infections," said Michel de Wilde, senior vice-president research and development at Sanofi Pasteur.

"We are pleased to team up with Vivalis to discover and develop new biologicals against infectious diseases for patients worldwide."

Vivalis, Humalys

"We are very excited about this collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur only a few months after the acquisition of Humalys. This is the first major commercial agreement on the Humalex® platform. It also represents a strong validation of the technology developed by Humalys. In addition, this agreement also validates the relevancy of our strategy to move up in the value chain. Vivalis is today one of a very few companies able to propose a fully integrated offering from the discovery of fully human monoclonal antibodies to the production of clinical batches. We are particularly proud to enter this new domain with a leader that has already heavily invested in the field", said Franck Grimaud, CEO, and Majid Mehtali, CSO, co-managers of Vivalis and Philippe Guillot-Chêne, Managing Director of Humalys.

Find out more

Vivalis is a biopharmaceutical company that provides innovative cell-based solutions to the pharmaceutical industry for the manufacture of vaccines and proteins, and develops drugs for the prevention and treatment of viral diseases. Based in Nantes (France), Vivalis was founded in 1999 by the Grimaud group (1,500 employees), the second largest group worldwide in animal genetic selection.

Vivalis has established more than 30 partnerships and licenses with world leaders in this sector, including Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, CSL, Kaketsuken, Merial, Intervet, SAFC Biosciences. Vivalis is a member of the French Atlanpole Biotherapies and Lyonbiopôle bioclusters.