In October 2011, Globeimmune entered into a licensing a co-development contract for its HBV (hepatitis B infection) vaccine candidate GS-4774, receiving $10m upfront from its partner Gilead Sciences.
But last week Gilead terminated the deal, resulting in the return of the rights of the product to GlobeImmune which subsequently announced a number of updates.
This included ending the lease on the 40,000 sq ft of office, laboratory and manufacturing space in Louisville, Colorado, which previously served as a headquarters for the Delaware-registered company.
Gilead’s withdrawal also triggered CEO and President Timothy Rodell to step down, along with several board members. Meanwhile GlobeImmune’s share price dropped to its lowest in the company’s history and the firm is no longer filing anything with the SEC, having voluntarily delisted from NASDAQ in July.
The candidate is intended to generate T cell immune responses against cells containing HBV antigens in combination with antiviral therapy, using GlobeImmune’s Tarmogen heat-inactivated yeast platform.
Immunisation with a Tarmogen results in an antigen-specific cellular immune response against the target protein, and the activation of dendritic cells which engulf the Tarmogen with endosomes and phagosomes resulting in the presentation of the antigen to CD8+ killer T cells, allowing them to move through the body identifying and killing other cells that expresses the same disease.
The candidate initially saw positive data from Phase I trials, but failed to meet its primary endpoint in a Phase II trial last year.