Pfizer taps SFJ for cancer drug's Phase III

Pfizer ($PFE) is partnering with SFJ Pharmaceuticals to conduct Phase III trials for dacomitinib, a drug designed to treat non-small cell lung cancer.

Neither company disclosed the financial details of the deal, but the agreement will task SFJ with generating enough clinical data on the drug to get it approved to treat locally advanced or metastatic varieties of the cancer. Once dacomitinib is on the market, the company will be eligible for milestone and earn-out payments.

This is SFJ's second deal with Pfizer, as the company inked an agreement earlier this year to conduct Phase III trials in Asia for Pfizer's axitinib, targeted for patients at risk of recurrent renal cell carcinoma after nephrectomy.

SFJ's novel business model has attracted a heap of venture dollars since its founding in 2009. The company targets late-stage partnerships with pharma companies, signing deals to pay for CRO work and development costs in exchange for an upfront payment and a share of royalties once a drug is approved. This second deal with Pfizer follows a similar one on Eisai's thyroid cancer drug lenvatinib.

"At SFJ, our mission is to accelerate the availability of new and innovative drugs into the world's major markets through co-development," CEO Robert DeBenedetto said in a statement. "With this important, multi-national trial, we are pleased to continue our collaborative relationship with Pfizer and support the clinical development of a promising new agent for the treatment of lung cancer."

- read SFJ's release
- get more from FierceBiotech

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