MabVax Secures $11 Million from Boehringer Ingelheim for Antibody Development Program

MabVax David Hansen

Shares of MabVax Therapeutics have more than doubled this morning after Boehringer Ingelheim inked a deal to acquire the rights to an antibody development program that will be used to target multiple solid tumors.

Under terms of the deal, Boehringer Ingelheim will pay MabVax $11 million in upfront money for the preclinical product. The preclinical asset sold to Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim targets a glycan commonly overexpressed on multiple solid tumor cancers, MabVax said in its announcement. Additional funds could head to the San Diego-based company from downstream milestone payments. The news was pleasing to investors who snapped up shares of MabVax this morning. The stock has jumped more than 300 percent from Friday’s close of 59 cents per share to a morning high of $2.46 per share.

The stock though is shooting up ahead of MabVax’s delisting from the Nasdaq exchange. The company announced on July 2 that it would not attempt to regain compliance with the Nasdaq to remain on the exchange. Trading of the company's common stock will be suspended at the open of business on Wednesday, July 11. Nasdaq will thereafter take action to formally remove the Company's securities from listing and registration on Nasdaq, the company said Thursday.

David Hansen, president and chief executive officer of MabVax, said the asset BI acquired is based on the company’s proprietary HuMab technology.

“This agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim recognizes the value of our innovative approach to discovering novel antibodies to diagnose and treat cancer. We have been committed since the founding of the company to discovering and developing unique fully human antibodies to diagnose and treat patients with cancers where there remain significant unmet medical needs.
 Hansen said in a statement.

MabVax said the preclinical antibody series that is part of the deal with Boehringer Ingelheim was discovered from biological samples, originally from patients who were vaccinated against their solid tumors with a glycan antigen-containing vaccine. The discovery of fully human antibodies directly from vaccinated cancer patients has potential advantages which include greater specificity and reduced toxicities, the company said. Following the discovery, MabVax said it reported on early preclinical development activities to establish the utility of the program. 

MabVax said the deal with Boehringer Ingelheim does not involve its lead HuMab-5B1antibody program, which is in Phase I clinical trials. MabVax’s Phase I antibody, MVT-5873, is a fully human IgG1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) that targets sialyl Lewis A (sLea), an epitope on CA19-9. MVT-5873 is being studied as a potential therapy for pancreatic cancer, as well as other cancers that have CA19-9 positive tumors. CA19-9 plays an important role in tumor adhesion and metastasis, and is a marker of an aggressive cancer phenotype. In April 2017, the company announced preclinical results for MVT-1075 at the American Association of Clinical Research (AACR) annual meeting. The results showed the drug demonstrated marked suppression and regression of tumor growth in xenograft animal models of pancreatic cancer. 

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