Backing for PIGF-blocker
Lund/Leuven/Basel – Swedish drug development company BioInvent International AB and drug development partner Belgian ThromboGenics NV have entered into a multimillion-euro licensing agreement with Swiss pharma giant Roche. The strategic alliance encompasses the jointly developed anti-cancer agent TB-403, a humanised monoclonal antibody that blocks Placental Growth Factor (PIGF), one of the growth factors responsible for the development of new blood vessels. TB-403 (Anti-PIGF) has completed its Phase I clinical trial, and recently received approval to enter a Phase Ib dose-escalation trial. TB-403 was in-licensed by ThromboGenics from the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) at the University of Leuven (Belgium), where the therapeutic potential of anti-PlGF agents to treat cancer was first developed.
The companies announced in June that BioInvent and ThromboGenics will receive EUR50m in an upfront payment from Roche. In addition, the Swedish and Belgian firms could potentially receive up to a450m over the term of the collaboration. Payments are dependent on the successful completion of a series of development and commercial milestones for multiple indications, as well as royalties on potential product sales, including any backup antibodies based on the inhibition of PIGF. ThromboGenics will receive 60% of the revenue from the deal, while BioInvent will take home 40%. Both firms retain the promotion rights for the antibody in the Nordic, Baltic and Bene-
lux regions. Roche receives a worldwide exclusive license to develop and commercialise the product, and assumes responsibility for all future development costs.
Roche will also provide the two companies with funding for research on non-cancer indications.