Symphogen strikes potential billion-dollar deal with Baxalta

Symphogen has been handed USD 175 million from Baxalta to develop six new oncology drugs on its antibody platform. The biotech company could earn well above a billion dollars in milestone payments.

Foto: Stine Bidstrup

Symphogen begun the year by bagging a payment of USD 175 million, which forms the upfront portion of a new deal between the biotech company and US-based drug group Baxalta, announced Monday afternoon.

The partnership will see Symphogen developing six novel immune checkpoint therapies from scratch until  successful completion of Phase I clinical trials. All six drugs target oncology diseases and will be based on Symphogen’s antibody platform. The first of the candidates is set to enter the clinic in 2017.

Through the deal, Symphogen could earn up to USD 1.6 billion in option fees and milestone payments.

"This exciting partnership aligns well to Baxalta's strategy to invest in immuno-oncology and build an innovative portfolio of immunotherapies," says David Meek, executive vice president and president, Oncology, Baxalta, adding:

"With the expertise Symphogen offers in this category and their broad portfolio of early-stage immuno-oncology programs, this collaboration allows us to actively advance one of the most innovative areas of this field. For Baxalta, this is just the beginning of our focus in building world-class capabilities in immuno-oncology."

Strong validation

“Baxalta's dedication to delivering transformative therapies and its global commercial presence make it an ideal strategic partner for Symphogen, as we complement Baxalta with R&D competencies within the immuno-oncology area," says Kirsten Drejer, CEO of Symphogen.

"We look forward to providing Baxalta with innovative immuno-oncology product candidates under this broad collaboration," she adds.

Dr. Göran Ando, Chairman of the Board in Symphogen – a position he also holds in Nov Nordisk -  is equally pleased.

"This collaboration also provides strong validation for Symphogen's antibody approach and capabilities within the exciting field of immuno-oncology therapy."

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- translated by Martin Havtorn Petersen

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