Abbott pays $25M upfront for Pierre Fabre cancer pact

Wooed by the prospects of one of Pierre Fabre's promising pre-clinical cancer programs, Abbott Laboratories has agreed to pay the French biotech $25 million upfront, two years of research expenses and an undisclosed slate of milestones to buy its way into a worldwide licensing pact.

Abbott's R&D team was lured by the antibody's potential for targeting the cMet receptor. cMet protein plays a role in the progression of a range of solid tumors--including prostate, lung and gastric cancers--and also mediates resistance to chemotherapy. The two companies say the deal to develop and commercialize h224G11, a monoclonal antibody, will be followed up with a collaboration on "next-generation" cMet antibodies.

"cMet is a compelling cancer target and the early research on this compound looks promising," says John Leonard, M.D., senior vice president, global research and development, Abbott. "We look forward to adding to our strong oncology pipeline, which includes exploration of multiple mechanisms to treat cancer."

- here's the press release on the deal