Oxford BioMedica PLC Inks Transformational $90 Million Deal With Novartis AG
Published: Oct 10, 2014
October 10, 2014
By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
Oxford BioMedica announced that it has struck a deal worth $90 million with Novartis AG to manufacture goods that are needed for a highly experimental cancer research program.
The Oxford-based company will be helping Novartis develop a cancer treatment that genetically re-programs the body’s “killer” immune cells. In turn, they will be armed with extra weaponry to wipe out tumors.
In addition to working with Novartis on experimental cancer research, Oxford BioMedica has entered further contracts that build upon their initial collaboration established in 2013. As a result of the new agreement, Novartis will pay Oxford $14 million up front for a non-exclusive worldwide development and commercialization license in oncology under the LentiVector platform.
The LentiVector platform has the ability to deliver genetic material efficiently. This makes it an ideal tool for gene therapy and gene knockdown using RNA interference.
“We are delighted to sign a second agreement with Novartis,” said John Dawson, chief executive officer of Oxford. “BioMedica now has a breadth of leading capabilities in gene and cell therapy under-pinned by a dominant LentiVector patent estate (licensed to multiple companies), and a state-of-the-art GMP manufacturing facility. Today’s commitment from Novartis, including their equity investment, strongly endorses this. Our team has demonstrated its ability to solve complex gene and cell therapy manufacturing challenges, and to develop the state-of-the-art analytics essential for such programs.”
According to the terms of the most recent agreement, the company is eligible to receive the $90 million from Novartis over the course of three years. Oxford has also granted Novartis an exclusive license for the worldwide development and commercialization of all of the Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cell products that come from the collaboration.
“Oxford BioMedica aims to help facilitate access to life changing treatments for many more patients with a variety of clinical indications and is now strongly positioned to deliver significant value-creating results against its strong asset base,” Dawson continued.
Oxford BioMedica has a pipeline of seven gene therapy drugs that address diseases that currently have no treatment. Specifically, the company focuses on ocular and nervous system disorders.
Novartis, a Switzerland-based company, has a dedication to creating innovative medicine and cost-saving drugs for patients. It’s also focused on providing eye care and preventative vaccines to the public.