US-based AVEO Pharmaceuticals says it has received a $5 million milestone-payment from Biogen Idec International GmbH, a subsidiary of the US Biogen Idec group, for the selection of the first humanized antibody-development candidate from its ErbB3 program under the terms of a licensing accord signed between the companies in March 2009.
Elan Ezickson, chief business-officer of AVEO, stated: “We are very pleased with the progress we have made on the ErbB3 program and the selection of the first development candidate. The company has built a state-of-the-art antibody drug discovery platform dedicated to the delivery of novel, high-quality oncology antibody drug candidates which has yielded a rich pipeline of product candidates focused on novel targets of growing interest in oncology such as Notch, RON and FGFR. The collaboration with Biogen Idec around the ErbB3 program and our collaboration with Merck & Co on our clinical stage HGF/c-MET product AV-299 represent two of the more than 10 partnerable programs we have generated through our highly efficient and productive platform.”
Under terms of the deal with Biogen, AVEO is responsible for developing ErbB3 antibodies through the completion of the proof-of-concept clinical trial designed to allow dose selection and support generation of efficacy data that would allow movement to a Phase III clinical trial. It also retains the exclusive right to commercialize ErbB3 antibody products in North America.
AVEO recently suffered a disappointment, when the company’s IPO last month raised just $81 million. The cancer-therapy developer sold 9 million shares for $9 each despite hopes to raise about $98 million by selling 7 million shares at between $13 and $15 each.