Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMS) said that it has entered into a $1 billion deal with Danish biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic for rights to a late-stage prostate cancer vaccine.
The companies entered into an agreement that provides BMS an exclusive option to license and commercialize Prostvac, Bavarian Nordic’s investigational Phase III prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-targeting cancer immunotherapy in development for the treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).
BMS will pay Bavarian Nordic $60 million upfront in exchange for the right to exercise the option in its sole discretion within a designated time after data is available from the ongoing Phase III trial. Additionally, Bavarian Nordic could receive up to $915 million in milestones if BMS takes the next step to license and commercialize the drug.
Including the deal with Bavarian Nordic, BMS has committed up to $2.6 billion in three new cancer deals over the past few weeks. The company currently has an ongoing Phase III program for Yervoy in prostate cancer. BMS said that it would also conduct studies combining Prostvac with Yervoy. The companies have also entered into an agreement by which they may conduct one or more exploratory combination studies of Prostvac and agents from BMS’ immuno-oncology portfolio.
“While additional treatment options have become available, metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer remains largely incurable,” said Michael Giordano, Head of Development, Oncology, BMS. “Our agreement with Bavarian Nordic reflects our commitment to following the emerging science in immuno-oncology and supports our strategy to transform the treatment of cancer across multiple tumor types, lines of therapy and stages of disease.”
The news sent Bavarian Nordic shares up as much as 39 percent. The company’s Phase III program for Prostvac has completed enrollment, with 1,298 patients.
“We are proud to partner with Bristol-Myers Squibb whose excellence and leadership in immuno-oncology provides a strong foundation for advancing Prostvac, which has the potential to become an essential component in the treatment of prostate cancer,” said Paul Chaplin, PhD and Chief Executive Officer of Bavarian Nordic. “Leveraging the capabilities of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s science, we look forward to exploring the full potential of Prostvac in the future treatment paradigm of prostate cancer.”
Source: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Last updated: 3/4/15; 10:15am EST