Avid sells off cancer assets, transitioning to CDMO
- Boston-based oncology therapeutics company Oncologie Inc. has snapped up bavituximab and other phosphatidylserine-targeting assets from Avid Bioservices Inc., a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) previously known as Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc.
- In return, Avid receives $8 million in upfront payments over six months, and could get $95 million more through potential development, regulatory and commercialization milestones. Avid may also see tiered royalties up to the mid-teens.
- While Oncologie will be responsible for the research, development and commercialization of bavituximab, Avid will carry out contract development and manufacturing activities.
Avid started life as Peregrine, but changed its name in January 2018 to reflect its transition to a CDMO business structure. As part of this move, Avid has been looking for a biopharma to take on its phosphatidylserine-targeting candidates and assets, including bavituximab and other phosphatidylserine-targeting antibodies.
It found such a partner in Oncologie.
"We believe [Oncologie has] the resources and expertise to maximize the potential of the program," said Avid CEO Roger Lias in a Feb. 12 statement.
The deal marks the completion of its transition to a CDMO, Lias said, as well as providing capital that can support the company in the near-term.
Bavituximab has a checkered history, likely another driver behind Avid's change of direction.
Back in February 2016, then-Peregrine stopped its Phase III SUNRISE trial in patients with previously treated locally advanced or metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The drug, in combination with docetaxel, "did not show a sufficient improvement in overall survival as compared to the docetaxel group to warrant continuation of the study." Last summer, Peregrine made the decision to cut its workforce by a fifth, and began to pursue strategic options for its R&D assets.
Conversely, Oncologie's focus has been on mid-stage clinical programs that modify the tumor microenvironment, and the deal provides the company with a new lead development program.
- Avid Bioservices Inc. Press release
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