Xoma, working to stay afloat after the late-stage failure of its lead drug, inked a heavily back-loaded agreement with Novo Nordisk, trading the rights to a diabetes program in exchange for short-term cash.
Xoma has worked a deal to outlicense a cancer antibody to its longtime partners at Novartis. In the deal Xoma will get $37 million in badly needed cash upfront, some relief on $13.5 million in debt and the chance to earn $480 million in milestones, if all goes as planned.
Xoma, thrust into penny-stock territory after its lead drug failed in Phase III, isn't planning to shut its doors, instead pressing forward with the candidates it has left and promising to transform itself into a nimble biotech with a shot at survival.
After stoking investors' dreams of a turnaround, Xoma delivered another nightmare. The Berkeley, CA-based biotech reported early Wednesday that a Phase III study of gevokizumab in patients with Behçet's disease uveitis was a bust.
On Thursday, all of the content on Xoma's website was replaced by a single phrase.
After the markets closed on Tuesday, Xoma put out the word that its main pipeline asset, gevokizumab (Xoma 052) flunked a Phase II program for erosive osteoarthritis of the hand, ending any shot it had at a broad pivotal study in that indication.
Xoma has chosen a new home for a fixed-dose combination product for reducing blood pressure, transferring the asset to the startup Symplmed Pharmaceuticals in exchange for equity in the new company and up to double-digit royalties on potential U.S. sales.
Xoma says it hit its primary endpoint in a late-stage test of a blood pressure combo including Servier's perindopril, setting the stage for an NDA as the biotech goes hunting for a partner to market the therapy in the U.S.
CMC Biologics is a buying Xoma's large-scale manufacturing facility in the Bay Area, giving the company a regional foothold in one of biotech's hotbeds.
Tel Aviv-based Compugen has opened shop in a promised land of biotech, South San Francisco.