Menarini, Oxford BioTherapeutics forge $1 billion cancer deal
OXFORD, England and FLORENCE, Italy— Oxford BioTherapeutics (OBT) and Menarini Group on Oct. 29 announced a strategic alliance to develop a portfolio of antibody-based drugs in the field of cancer, covering five of OBT's antibody and antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) programs.
Each of the programs addresses a different cancer indication via a different novel oncology target.
The companies say the deal brings together OBT's discovery expertise with Menarini's clinical knowledge, and expanding capabilities in the manufacture and development of biologics, to build value for both companies "as they work to bring this exciting portfolio of next generation antibody-based cancer drugs to market."
Under the terms of the collaboration, Menarini will lead the efforts in the manufacturing and clinical development of each program, supported by OBT, while OBT will provide the proprietary cancer target, antibody and arming technologies. Once clinical proof-of-concept has been achieved, OBT will complete the clinical development and commercialize these novel antibody-based products in North America and Japan, while Menarini will develop and commercialize the products in Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Asia and Latin America.
"This creative alliance is transformational for us as it allows OBT to participate in the clinical development and future commercialisation of our programs while at the same time it bolsters Menarini's pipeline with a portfolio of the next generation of cancer drugs," said Christian Rohlff, CEO of OBT, noting that Menarini has made impressive achievements in biologics development and demonstrated an enduring commitment to the development of innovative cancer therapies. "We believe this innovative business framework could become the business model of choice for rapidly growing biotechnology companies seeking new ways to develop their drug pipeline effectively."
Noting that OBT has a proven track record of generating innovative antibody-based cancer drug candidates that are designed to address high unmet medical needs, Alberto Giovanni Aleotti, member of the Menarini board of directors, said, "I am very pleased that this novel strategic alliance, which foresees the development and manufacture of up to five cancer treatment programs and a total investment of 800 million Euro, will enable us to further demonstrate our deep and longstanding commitment to the fight against cancer, which has always been crucial to Menarini's overall corporate mission."
OBT's dedicated development operation in Basel, Switzerland, established in May 2012, will perform a central role in supporting the new collaboration as OBT and Menarini work together to progress OBT's most advanced therapeutic antibody and ADC oncology programs into clinical development.
SOURCE: OBT/Menarini news release