CureTech's positive lymphoma study triggers $69M Teva deal

Encouraged by the successful conclusion of a mid-stage lymphoma study, Teva Pharmaceutical is tightening its hold on CureTech. The pharma company is investing an additional $19 million into the Israeli biotech and may finance up to $50 million in R&D work as CureTech heads into a late-stage program. Teva now holds 75% of the company and has an option to acquire the remaining 25%.

The object of Teva's desire is CT-011, an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody which produced positive overall survival and the progression-free-survival data in Phase II.

"We are excited at this opportunity to continue working with CureTech on the development of CT-011. We believe CT-011 has great potential to help many currently unserved cancer patients," said Dr. Aharon Schwartz, head of Teva's Innovative Ventures. "This investment is part of Teva's strategy to expand our branded activities into specialty therapeutic areas, such as oncology."

"The observation that there is a surge of effector memory cells and the signal that there is an improvement in PFS in a high risk group of patients with relapsed large cell lymphoma suggests considerable biologic and clinical relevance to CT-011 and is a compelling argument for a Phase III trial," says Dr. Leo Gordon, the principal investigator of the drug at Northwestern University School of Medicine. "A successful trial could make this the standard of care in the setting of relapsed lymphoma or even in high risk lymphoma after initial therapy, but more importantly, lead the way towards the use of PD-1 inhibitors in settings in which enhanced innate immunity is desirable."

- here's the release