About a week ago, the Danish-based biotech company Symphogen signed a partnership deal with American drug group Baxalta for the development of six immuno-oncology candidates and a few day ago, Irish-based Shire Pharmaceuticals closed a deal to acquire Baxalta.
But Symphogen’s CEO, Kirsten Drejer, does not expect the acquisition and the change of ownership it brings with it to have any impact on her deal with Baxalta.
“It’s a legally binding agreement, so I don’t assume we have to do any more work on that. The upfront payment is in our account and unless Shire doesn’t want to work in the oncology field, I cannot imagine any scenario in which it would not go on as planned,” Kirsten Drejer tells MedWatch on a phone call from San Francisco where she is attending the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.
Symphogen received USD 175 million upfront through the deal to begin development of the new drugs based on its antibody platform, but could earn up to USD 1.6 billion in option and milestone payments, as well as royalties on worldwide sales.
The Financial Times said last week that the deal between Symphogen and Baxalta might well have been a way for Baxalta to make itself appealing to Shire.
“We have of course, as most other people, known that this was coming, but for obvious reasons it’s not something Baxalta have discussed with us. The agreement we have signed will lead to interesting new drugs and that’s valuable and meaningful for us no matter who’s at the end of the table,” Kirsten Drejer says.
- translated by Martin Havtorn Petersen
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