GSK has acquired GlycoVaxyn, the Swiss vaccine-maker it has held a minority stake in since 2012, paying $190 million in cash to take full ownership.

GlycoVaxyn, founded in 2004, is a spin-out of the Swiss Polytechnic Institute of Zurich which has developed a platform to develop a new generation of conjugate vaccines against major bacterial infections. It has Phase I candidates against E. coli infections and shigellosis (severe diarrhoea).

Moncef Slaoui, chairman of vaccines at GSK, said the deal is “an exciting opportunity to expand our research efforts” in areas for which there are currently no effective vaccines. He added that it “complements our proposed transaction with Novartis which will strengthen our leading position in vaccines”.

With the transaction, GlycoVaxyn is now valued at $212 million. It has been previously supported by venture capital firms including Sofinnova, Index Ventures and Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners and has also received funding from the Wellcome Trust and through a collaboration with Janssen.

The firms concluded by saying that they will work together over the next few months “to develop ways of working that will maintain the autonomy and agility of GlycoVaxyn whilst delivering the scale and support that GSK can provide”.