Servier severs a $450M oncology deal with MacroGenics

MacroGenics CEO and co-founder Dr. Scott Koenig

French drugmaker Servier is walking away from a partnership with MacroGenics ($MGNX) worth up to $450 million, handing back the rights to a cancer immunotherapy after getting a glimpse at clinical data.

The pair first united in 2011, with Servier paying $20 million up front and promising as much as $430 million more down the line in exchange for European rights to enoblituzumab, an antibody therapy for solid tumors. Per the agreement, Servier had the option to opt in or out on enoblituzumab's future after Phase I. MacroGenics presented its partner with the data in July, and Servier had 90 days to make up its mind. With that period now elapsed, MacroGenics has regained worldwide rights to the treatment, the company said.

Servier's decision doesn't affect the duo's ongoing collaboration on a pair of preclinical cancer therapies in a second alliance formed in 2012 through a deal worth up to $1.1 billion, MacroGenics said. And the company is still on track with its enoblituzumab monotherapy program as well as trials pairing the antibody with Bristol-Myers Squibb's ($BMY) Yervoy and Merck's ($MRK) Keytruda, management said.

Enoblituzumab is the most advanced asset among MacroGenics' trio of therapies targeting an immunomodulatory molecule called B7-H3. The target is a hallmark of certain tumors, and homing in on it recruits the body's T cells to join the attack on cancer, the company said. Beyond the lead program, MacroGenics has advanced the B7-H3 antibody MGD009 into Phase I and is in preclinical development with an antibody-drug conjugate aimed at the same target.

"Servier's decision enables us to integrate development and commercial strategies across these assets in the future," MacroGenics CEO Scott Koenig said in a statement.

Over the past few years, MacroGenics' oncology pipeline has helped it snag billions of dollars' worth of collaborations with larger drugmakers, fueling deals with Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), Takeda and Boehringer Ingelheim. The company, a Fierce 15 honoree, executed an $80 million IPO in 2013.

- read the statement

Special Report: FierceBiotech's 2013 Fierce 15 - MacroGenics

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