Dyadic announces technology transfer and licensing agreement with South Africa’s Rubic Consortium
Dyadic International, Inc., a global biotechnology company focused on further improving, applying and deploying its proprietary C1-cell protein production platform to accelerate development, lower production costs and improve access to biologic vaccines and drugs at flexible commercial scales, announced it signed a COVID-19 vaccine technology transfer and licensing agreement (the “Rubic Agreement”) with the Rubic Consortium (“Rubic”), a South African-based company whose mission is to develop a South African-based solution for the discovery, development, evaluation and manufacture of high-quality, cost-effective vaccines for distribution primarily to the African markets.
Rubic was founded by a consortium of public health, medical, academia, vaccine technology, technology transfer and economic sector experts interested in addressing the region’s specific challenges related to vaccine availability and affordability. Overseeing the implementation of the technologies introduced or developed is a team of leading academics directed by the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Wits) academic team, with the support of Wits Health Consortium (WHC), a wholly owned company of Wits.
Rubic’s strategic vision includes:
Establishing a vaccine research hub and center for higher learning and R&D facilities.
Establishing a vaccine manufacturing unit with the infrastructure, processing operations and capabilities for the manufacture and distribution of high-quality vaccines throughout the African continent.
As recently noted by the World Health Organization, “there are currently fewer than 10 African manufacturers with vaccine production capacity based in 5 countries with no immediate readiness to repurpose facilities for large scale production in the event of an emergency.” “The need to quickly acquire and commercialize technology and manufacturing capabilities, which addresses the infrastructure necessary to deploy vaccinations for broad populations affordably and timeously has never been a more strategic imperative of African nations than today,” said Shabir Madhi, professor of vaccinology, Dean Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, who is leading COVID-19 vaccine trials in South Africa. Professor Madhi continued, “We expect that the high yields and low costs of the C1 cell line have the potential to provide affordable solutions for multiple diseases that African countries are likely to benefit from.”
Michael Tarnok Chairman of the Board stated, “Global health professionals have long known of the varying levels of health services available around the world. However, the COVID-19 global pandemic has specifically highlighted the inequities in vaccination rates. We believe that the efficiency and flexibility of the C1 expression system can reduce the cost and increase worldwide access to vaccines and biologic medicines and contribute to improving global health equity. With anticipated clinical successes, together with our collaborators, we expect our C1 manufacturing platform will be positioned to provide affordable COVID-19 immunization to more than 40% of the global population, including significant areas that have been historically underserved. In addition, this collaboration will also prepare Africa for potential new pandemics and help to address multiple other existing disease states. Further, Dyadic is currently in discussions with other countries that may further expand the Company’s global coverage.”
Some of the highlights of the Rubic Agreement are as follows:
Rubic will be licensed to utilize the C1 Platform for the research, development, regulatory approval, manufacture, launch, marketing, and commercialization of a COVID-19 vaccine(s) that may be manufactured in South Africa and sold in multiple countries on the African continent.
Rubic will be responsible for presenting the proposed design and funding of a Phase II clinical trial within a specified timeframe of the executed technology transfer and licensing agreement.
Rubic, subject to certain terms and conditions, may utilize the C1 platform to conduct research and development, conduct pre-clinical studies and clinical studies and commercialize COVID-19 and other vaccines.
Rubic will initiate a detailed review of locations in South Africa suitable for use as a cGMP Source for CoV-2 bulk materials at a facility owned or controlled by Rubic.
Dyadic will facilitate technology transfer of the C1 Platform to Rubic through the completion of clinical trials.
Other than as provided by the Rubic Agreement, Dyadic will have the exclusive license and right to make, have made, use, sell, offer to sell, market, and commercialize any COVID-19 commercial product arising from joint development with Rubic.
The agreement provides Rubic with the ability to conduct research and development activities with multiple other C1 produced vaccines in addition to DYAI-100. Dyadic will maintain and own all background and foreground intellectual property rights relating to the C1 platform, derived from any and all research and development as a result of the project.
Dyadic will provide certain technical tools and assistance to Rubic, in addition to providing certain genetically modified and engineered C1-cells for the discovery, development and manufacturing of novel SARS-CoV-2 RBD variant of concern antigens, potentially leading to a therapeutic and/or prophylactic COVID-19 vaccine(s) which address SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.
If Dyadic’s COVID-19 (i.e., DYAI-100) Phase I vaccine clinical trial is successfully completed, starting with Phase II, all costs for the development, regulatory approval, manufacturing, launch and/or commercialization of a COVID-19 commercial product in the Territory as defined in the Rubic Agreement will be borne by Rubic.
- Rubic and its authorized sublicensees will pay to Dyadic a licensing fee equal to (i) a percentage of the sales of the applicable COVID-19 commercial product(s) or a per vaccine fee per dose (as defined in the agreement).