BioInvent International has entered into a cancer immunotherapy research collaboration and license agreement with Pfizer to develop antibodies targeting tumour-associated myeloid cells.
Under the terms of the deal, Pfizer will pay BioInvent approximately $10 million in early payments, including an upfront payment, early research funding, and a $6 million equity investment in new shares of BioInvent at a subscription price of SEK 2.56 per share, which corresponds to an approximately 30% premium to the average volume weighted price for the share during the 10 trading days prior to 21 December 2016.
Assuming five antibodies are developed through to commercialization, BioInvent would be eligible for potential future payments related to certain development milestones, which could amount to more than $0.5 billion through the term of the deal, as well as up to double digit royalties related to any potential products that may result from the collaboration. Pfizer will have the right to develop and commercialize any antibodies generated to an undisclosed number of tumour-associated myeloid cell targets.
Commenting on the agreement, Michael Oredsson, CEO of BioInvent said: “We are very pleased to announce this discovery and development collaboration with Pfizer which will leverage our cancer antibody biology and immuno-oncology expertise. We are looking forward to working with Pfizer to deliver a number of first-in-class antibodies to potentially treat a range of cancer indications addressing unmet patient needs.”
BioInvent will leverage its cancer biology expertise, combined with its unbiased translational drug discovery approach (“F.I.R.S.T”), to identify novel oncology targets and therapeutic antibodies that inhibit cancer growth either by reversing the immunosuppressive activity of tumour-associated myeloid cells or by reducing the number of tumour-associated myeloid cells in the tumour.
“We believe co-targeting of tumour-associated myeloid cells has the potential to significantly improve the efficacy of currently available checkpoint inhibitor therapies, and may help activate anti-cancer immunity in currently non-responding patients and cancer types” said Björn Frendéus, CSO of BioInvent.
“We look forward to collaborating with BioInvent, as we believe that modulating the activity of tumour-associated myeloid cells presents an opportunity to help us expand our portfolio in oncology and ultimately deliver on our mission to bring innovative new medicines to cancer patients,” said Robert Abraham, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Pfizer’s Oncology Research & Development Group, Pfizer.