High stakes in immunotherapy deal
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High stakes in immunotherapy deal

05.03.2015 - Bavarian Nordic is outlicensing its Phase 3 prostate cancer immunotherapy Prostvac to pharma heavyweight Bristol Myers Squibb for a tidy €881m.

Phase 3 trial seals the deal: Bristol Myers Squibb has handed over US$60m (€54m) upfront to Danish biotech Bavarian Nordic for the exclusive option to licence and commercialise Prostvac. Depending on the results from the ongoing 1,298 patient study, BMS will decide whether to pick up the the prostate-specific antigen-targeting cancer immunotherapy. If so, Bavarian Nordic would be entitled to a payment of US$80m plus additional incremental payments starting at US$50m, but with a potential to exceed US$230m should the median overall survival benefit of Prostvac exceed the efficacy seen in Phase 2 results. Furthermore, Bavarian Nordic could be eligible for regulatory milestone payments of US$110m, up to US$495m in sales milestones as well as tiered double-digit royalties on future sales. Last but not least, Bavarian Nordic will undertake the future commercial manufacturing of the cancer vaccine.

Prostvac is a ready to use immuno-oncology agent that stimulates an immune response that attacks prostate cancer cells. It has been developed to treat asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. To find out if the drug may have additional benefits when combined with BMS’ own prostate cancer drug Yervoy, an investigator sponsored Phase 2 study is scheduled to take place.

“We are proud to partner with Bristol-Myers Squibb whose excellence and leadership in immuno-oncology provides a strong foundation for advancing PROSTVAC, which has the potential to become an essential component in the treatment of prostate cancer,” said Bavarian Nordic CEO Paul Chaplin. “Leveraging the capabilities of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s science, we look forward to exploring the full potential of PROSTVAC in the future treatment paradigm of prostate cancer.”



03.03.2015 After weeks of speculation, AstraZeneca has announced its plans to spin out its early-stage antibiotic R&D. The decision marks the company’s aims to “sharpen its focus on three main therapy areas”.


26.02.2015 It is the first biosimilar monoclonal antibody in many European markets: Mundipharma and Hospira are launching Celltrion’s Remicade generic.


23.02.2015 British drug developer Heptares has been acquired by Japanese biopharma play Sosei for US$400m (€352m).


19.02.2015 The price of oil has been sliding for months, and the European bioethanol market is taking it hard. CropEnergies AG has now stopped production at its British unit Ensus UK.


17.02.2015 After Christopher Viehbacher’s unceremonious ousting last year, Sanofi has been on the look out for a new CEO. Now, sources say Bayer’s Olivier Brandicourt is set to fill the position.


12.02.2015 Glaxosmithkline is intent on bolstering its vaccine portfolio further and has bought all shares of Swiss development partner Glycovaxyn.


10.02.2015 Interest in biotechnology is on the rise among British investors. Not just one, but two major financiers are planning investment funds in the field.

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No liability assumed, Date: 05.03.2015