Sector News

Novartis digs deeper into cancer with up to $750 million Aduro deal

April 1, 2015
Life sciences
(Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Novartis is digging deeper into cancer immunotherapy, one of the hottest areas of drug research, through a tie-up with Aduro Biotech worth up to $750 million.
 
The move comes as the privately owned California-based biotech group prepares for a $86 million initial public offering (IPO), details of which were announced earlier this month.
 
Novartis will make an upfront payment of $200 million and Aduro could be eligible for a further $500 million if drug projects pan out.
 
In addition, Novartis is making an initial equity investment in Aduro of $25 million, with a commitment for another $25 million at a future date, the two companies said on Monday.
 
The move gives Novartis access to Aduro’s experimental STING (Stimulator of Interferon Genes) technology, which is a next-generation method to harness the body’s immune system to combat cancer.
 
In a further sign of its commitment to cancer immunotherapy, Novartis also launched an immuno-oncology research group led by Glenn Dranoff, a leading cancer vaccine expert from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
 
The Basel-based group is already working on a number of immunotherapies to fight cancer, including chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CART), where its CTL019 product is in mid-stage Phase II clinical trials and is viewed as a potential market leader.
 
Mark Fishman, president of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, said the new technologies could be used both on their own and in combination with other medicines.
 
“Current approaches with checkpoint inhibitors and T-cell modulation are potent but only in select tumor types. STING agonists have the potential to fully activate the immune system to attack a broader range of tumors,” Fishman said.
 
Citigroup analyst Andrew Baum said Novartis’s strategy was to target the 50 percent or so of cancer patients whose tumors are unlikely to respond to drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors, which have formed the first wave of immuno-oncology treatments.
 
Aduro will lead commercialization and will book sales from any eventual products in the United States, with Novartis taking the lead in the rest of the world. The companies will share in profits in the United States, Japan and major European countries, with Novartis will paying Aduro a royalty for sales in the rest of the world.
 
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt and David Holmes)

comments closed

Related News

October 23, 2021

Novo Nordisk teams with CVS Health on obesity support program ahead of Wegovy DTC launch

Life sciences

As Novo Nordisk gears up to disrupt the obesity market with its newly approved weight-loss drug Wegovy, it is teaming with retail pharmacy giant CVS Health on a new education and nutrition coaching program for people taking anti-obesity meds.

October 23, 2021

GSK-backed Atreca inks license with Gates Medical Research Institute for malaria monoclonal antibody

Life sciences

The terms of the deal were undisclosed, but Atreca received $6 million from the Gates Foundation in 2012 to discover potential treatments for malaria, tuberculosis and HIV. The foundation has also given grant money to other biopharmas exploring malaria treatments, including Exscientia, which secured $4.2 million last year for such work.

October 23, 2021

A record number of biotechs are going public. Here’s how they’re performing.

Life sciences

At the start of the last decade, the IPO markets weren’t receptive to biotech companies. But by 2013, public investment was pouring into the industry, drawn by scientific advances and boosted by the newfound interest of a broader range of investors. Ever since, biotechs and their backers have ridden a multi-year boom. Keep track of them as they happen with this database.

Send this to a friend