Sanofi-Aventis has signaled its endorsement of the cancer vaccine field with a $690 million licensing deal for Oxford BioMedica's TroVax. Oxford BioMedica gets $39 million up front and $25 million payments as targets are hit. The deal includes additional payments if TroVax goes on to win approval for multiple indications. One British analyst estimated that the deal could be worth more than a billion dollars altogether, which makes it potentially the largest licensing deal signed by a British drug developer. The pact marks big pharma's interest in cancer vaccines, which look to boost a patient's immune system to eradicate cancer cells. Dendreon's Provenge is the most advanced cancer vaccine in development. That therapy is up for review tomorrow by an FDA expert committee.
TroVax is currently in Phase III for renal cancer, but the company is exploring its utility in a range of cancers including colorectal, lung, breast and prostate cancer. In the agreement, both companies will fund the research on renal cancer while Sanofi takes responsibility for future R&D expenses.
- see this release on the pact
- read the report on the deal from the International Herald Tribune