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Breast cancer-vaccine developer bags Teva Pharma, Dx deals to bolster PhIII program

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Galena Biopharma has been busy forging partnerships. This week the Oregon biotech ($GALE) revealed a pair of agreements focused on the company's therapeutic vaccine for breast cancer, a therapy in Phase III development, including a "signature" pact with the global group Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA) to commercialize the biotech's lead product in Israel.

The U.K.'s Leica Biosystems is Galena's second partner announced this week. Leica will support the development of a companion diagnostic to measure the presence of HER2 to select which patients should be treated with Galena's NeuVax, which is in late-stage development for preventing recurrence in women with breast cancer that has infiltrated the lymph nodes and has low or intermediate HER2 expression.

At least four sites of the Phase III trial will be in Israel, on Teva's home turf, a fact that was noted in the release about Galena's deal with the large pharma group. The agreement calls on Teva, which is making a push into more novel drug development after becoming the world's largest generic drugmaker, to tackle regulatory submission and support local development of NeuVax.

"This agreement is the first piece of our global commercialization strategy," Mark Ahn, Galena's CEO, stated. "Teva is a world-class pharmaceutical company and a major pharmaceutical company in Israel. We look forward to their
valuable financial support towards our development goals in Israel, as well as market leadership for NeuVax commercialization in the region."

Still, according to an SEC filing, Teva would only pursue regulatory approval of Galena's cancer vaccine from the FDA or the EMA. So Galena still has a lot of work to do itself before commercialization in Israel--a much smaller market than the U.S. and European Union, of course--begins.

Galena has obviously timed its announcements with the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, which began Dec. 4 and runs until Saturday, Dec. 8.

- here's the Teva announcement
- see the release on the diagnostics deal

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