Bavarian Nordic spotlights hopes for big cancer vax pact

Shares of Bavarian Nordic jumped seven percent after the Danish drug developer asserted that it is close to landing a big pharma partner for its closely watched prostate cancer vaccine, which is slated to begin a late-stage trial next year.

"Bavarian Nordic is actively pursuing its strategy for partnering with a global pharmaceutical company for the Phase III development and commercialization of Prostvac, which has attracted significant interest," the company says in a release. "Bavarian Nordic is currently in advanced discussions with a number of companies, including some of the largest, with due diligence ongoing."

Analysts say that Prostvac could go on to compete with the newly approved Provenge from Dendreon ($DNDN). Prostvac demonstrated an ability to more than double Provenge's survival rate and came in 3.9 months ahead of abiraterone, which is being advanced by Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ).

"The market's opening its eyes and seeing that Bavarian Nordic could enter into a partnership in the near future," analyst Frank Hoerning Andersen told Bloomberg. And Bavarian Nordic is in a position to claim a royalty stream of as much as 25 percent, a huge share compared to the typical licensing deal.

Bavarian Nordic spotlighted the partnering talks as it revealed that its losses had spiked during the first nine months of the year despite a sharp increase in revenue. The company sells the smallpox vaccine Imvamune to the U.S.

- read the Bavarian Nordic release
- and here's the story from Bloomberg