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Halozyme rebounds with $8M Pfizer biologics pact

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Near the close of what has been a rocky year, Halozyme Therapeutics ($HALO) has picked up a deal with the biologics folks at Pfizer ($PFE). The pact gives the San Diego-based biotech another major pharma collaborator to advance its recombinant human hyaluronidase enzyme (rHuPH20) technology for improving the delivery of protein therapies.

Like most such deals, this one promises the bulk of its potential payments down the road. Pfizer is paying up $8 million for licenses to Halozyme's drug technology for two treatment targets in primary and specialty care on an exclusive basis with the right to snag four more targets if the drug giant ponies up more money. Add up all the potential payments, not including royalties, and Halozyme stands to gobble up $507 million more if all goes as hoped.

San Diego-based Halozyme's stock price jumped 17.75% to $6.55 this morning in pre-market trading.

Halozyme's shares took a beating earlier this year after U.S. regulators raised concerns about antibodies against rHuPH20 in patients who took an immune deficiency treatment from partner Baxter that uses the enzyme ingredient. Halozyme relies heavily on partners such as Baxter, ViroPharma and Roche ($RHHBY) to carry its technology toward the market.

The Pfizer deal shows that biologics experts have faith in Halozyme's platform to improve the properties of their drugs, and investors appear to be responding positively.

"I am delighted about this opportunity as it has the potential to enhance Pfizer's ability to optimize treatments for patients," Jose Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, head of Pfizer BioTherapeutics R&D, said in a statement.

- here's the release
- see the update from Dow Jones

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