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Transgene S.A.. (5/4/20). "Press Release: Vaxxel Acquires Transgene’s DuckCelt-T17 Cell Line to Develop Industrial-scale Vaccines against Respiratory Viruses". Lyon & Strasbourg.

Organisations Organisation Transgene S.A. (Euronext: TNG)
  Group Mérieux (Group)
  Organisation 2 Vaxxel SAS
Products Product DuckCelt®-T17 cell line
  Product 2 Metavac® vaccine platform
Index terms Index term Vaxxel–Transgene: cell line technology, 202005 acquisition €na of DuckCelt-T17 cell line from Transgene incl shareholding for Transgene
  Index term 2 Vaxxel–Transgene: investment, 202005 investment €na Transgene becomes shareholder as part of acquisition of DuckCelt-T17 cell line by Vaxxel
Persons Person Cavert, Denis (Vaxxel 202004 President + Co-Founder)
  Person 2 Quéméneur, Eric (Mérieux 201410 EVP RnD at Transgene SA)

Vaxxel SAS, a French start-up, developing vaccines against respiratory viral infections, announces the acquisition of Transgene’s proprietary DuckCelt®-T17 cell line. The terms of the agreement are confidential. Through this agreement, Transgene becomes a shareholder of Vaxxel. DuckCelt®-T17, initially developed and patented by Transgene, is an avian cell line grown in suspension. It is permissive to a variety of viruses, including Influenza viruses and human Metapneumoviruses. The cell line has a demonstrated capability to be used at industrial scale.

“We are very pleased with the closure of this agreement. It will allow us to continue developing our vaccines against respiratory viruses namely a monovalent vaccine against human Metapneumovirus and a bivalent one against Respiratory Syncytial Virus and human Metapneumovirus. These vaccines would respond to a large unmet public health need worldwide. Both of these viruses are a major source of pneumonia and bronchiolitis for children under 5 years old and for adults above 65 years old. Based on current sales of a vaccine targeting the same population, the market potential for our vaccines exceeds 5 billion euros,” said Denis Cavert, President of Vaxxel SAS. “We are also proud to welcome Transgene among our shareholders. This will allow Vaxxel to benefit from their experience in scaling up and developing new biological products.”

“We are glad to valorize an asset such as our DuckCelt®-T17 cell line with Vaxxel’s high potential projects. This operation materializes a substantial research work undertaken several years ago in order to select an avian line suitable for viral production at an industrial scale. This transfer demonstrated the large field of application of our technologies, aside from immuno-oncology,” added Eric Quéméneur, Pharm. D., Ph. D, Executive VP and Chief Scientific Officer of Transgene.


For further information, please contact:


Denis Cavert

Daphné Thomas
Director Communication & Partnerships
+33 (0)4 26 23 56 78


Lucie Larguier
Director Corporate Communications & IR
+33 (0)3 88 27 91 04

Media: Citigate Dewe Rogerson
David Dible/Sylvie Berrebi
+ 44 (0)20 7638 9571

About Vaxxel SAS

Vaxxel is a start-up from Virpath, the virology and human pathology of the University Claude Bernard in Lyon (UCBL), France, and has been founded by Dr. Manuel Rosa-Calatrava Co-Director of Virpath (Lyon), by Pr. Guy Boivin of the University of Laval (Quebec), and by Denis Cavert, President of Vaxxel. Vaxxel develops live-attenuated vaccines against Metapneumovirus and against the Respiratory Syncytial Virus based on the Metavac® vaccine platform. This platform has been funded and licensed by Pulsalys and supported by Lyon Ingénierie Projets (LIP), a subsidiary of UCBL. Proof of Concept of the first monovalent vaccine candidate against the Metapneumovirus has been demonstrated on both animal and human ex vivo models. The company is a recipient of the 2019 i-Lab award, organized by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in partnership with Bpifrance, and has also received “FrenchTech seed” label.

About Vaxxel vaccine candidates

Vaxxel develops two vaccine candidates against respiratory infections: a monovalent vaccine against human Metapneumovirus (hMPV), and a bivalent vaccine against both hMPV and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (hRSV). These two viruses are the source of acute respiratory infections such as pneumonia or bronchiolitis in children below 5 years old and in older adults above 65 years old. They can lead to patient hospitalization, and even cause their death. Today, there is no vaccine available to protect the 195 million persons at risk (including 46 million children) from these severe infections (US and EU, 2018). Vaxxel’s live attenuated vaccine candidates are based on two proprietary technologies: Metavac®, an hMPV seed attenuated through reverse genetic, and DuckCelt®-T17, an avian cell line ge-ronw in suspension with demonstrated capability to be used at industrial scale. The objective of Vaxxel’s technology is to mimic natural infection without causing the disease and to activate both humoral and mucosal immunity.

About Transgene

Transgene (Euronext: TNG) is a publicly traded French biotechnology company focused on designing and developing targeted immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. Transgene’s programs utilize viral vector technology with the goal of indirectly or directly killing cancer cells.

The Company’s clinical-stage programs consist of two therapeutic vaccines (TG4001 for the treatment of HPV-positive cancers, and TG4050, the first individualized therapeutic vaccine based on the myvac® platform) as well as two oncolytic viruses (TG6002 for the treatment of solid tumors, and BT-001, the first oncolytic virus based on the Invir.IO™ platform).

With Transgene’s myvac® platform, therapeutic vaccination enters the field of precision medicine with a novel immunotherapy that is fully tailored to each individual. The myvac® approach allows the generation of a virus-based immunotherapy that encodes patient-specific mutations identified and selected by Artificial Intelligence capabilities provided by its partner NEC.

With its proprietary platform Invir.IO™, Transgene is building on its viral vector engineering expertise to design a new generation of multifunctional oncolytic viruses. Transgene has an ongoing Invir.IO™ collaboration with AstraZeneca.

Additional information about Transgene is available at:
Follow us on Twitter: @TransgeneSA

Transgene Disclaimer

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. There can be no guarantee that (i) the results of pre-clinical work and prior clinical trials will be predictive of the results of the clinical trials currently underway, (ii) regulatory authorities will agree with the Company’s further development plans for its therapies, or (iii) the Company will find development and commercialization partners for its therapies in a timely manner and on satisfactory terms and conditions, if at all. The occurrence of any of these risks could have a significant negative outcome for the Company’s activities, perspectives, financial situation, results and development. For a discussion of risks and uncertainties which could cause the Company’s actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, please refer to the Risk Factors (“Facteurs de Risques”) section of the Universal Registration Document, available on the AMF website ( or on Transgene’s website ( Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and Transgene undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

Record changed: 2023-12-04


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