Janssen, Bavarian Nordic end HPV and HBV collab

May 10, 2022

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen has axed its long-standing deal with Bavarian Nordic to develop new vaccines for hepatitis B virus and human papillomavirus (HPV).

The break comes amidst a more competitive market for HPV vaccines and changing priorities, said Janssen. The pharma company will end its efforts for an HPV vaccine as it puts its focus elsewhere.

As for its hepatitis B virus vaccine, no trials have been initiated using Bavarian Nordic’s technology since the agreement was signed in 2017. Janssen is looking to refocus its hepatitis B efforts to find a cure with other vaccine platforms. 

The partnership between the two companies started in October 2014 with a $187 million Ebola agreement. The two quickly built on the initial deal, signing a $171 million HPV vaccine research agreement in December 2015.

In 2017, the initial agreements were expanded to add in HIC and hepatitis B vaccine candidates. The expanded agreement gave Janssen exclusive rights to Bavarian Nordic’s MVA-BN vaccine developing technology. Bavarian Nordic was eligible to receive milestone payments up to $836 million in addition to an upfront payment of $10 million and $33 million in equity investments under the terms.

The two will continue working together on vaccines for HIV and Ebola, said Janssen.