BioAtla scores potential $1B deal with Pfizer in immuno-oncology

San Diego-based BioAtla has snagged a potential mega deal with Pfizer ($PFE) that seeks to combine conditionally active biologic (CAB) antibodies with proprietary antibody drug conjugate payloads as part of a deal worth a possible $1 billion to BioAtla.

BioAtla, which does early stage clinical work in Beijing, would provide its CAB offerings to Pfizer, which would get exclusive marketing and development rights for immuno-oncology target CTLA4.

The deal is complex and sees each company paying the other milestones and royalties if a candidate emerges, according to a press release.

"Under the agreement, BioAtla and Pfizer will each have a license to the other's respective technology to pursue the development and commercialization of several CAB-ADC antibodies," the release said.

"Pfizer also gains an exclusive option to develop and commercialize BioAtla CAB antibodies that target CTLA4, a validated immuno-oncology target in humans. If successful, BioAtla's technology would allow the selective targeting of CTLA4 expressed on immune cells localized in the tumor microenvironment."

The release went on to say that the deal requires payments on either side, depending upon development of candidates.

"BioAtla and Pfizer are both eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties based on individual CAB-ADC antibody candidates developed and commercialized by the other party," the release said. "Including the CTLA4 option and license, BioAtla is eligible to receive a potential total of more than $1.0 billion in up-front, regulatory and sales milestone payments as well as tiered marginal royalties reaching double digits on potential future product sales."

The deal follows a move in June that saw mystery Chinese investors venture $30 million on BioAtla.

In a release at the time, BioAtla noted potential applications in monoclonal antibodies, bispecific antibodies, antibody drug conjugates, immune checkpoint inhibitors and CAR-T cells.

BioAtla is not the only San Diego-based biotech to capture attention from Chinese investors. In May, A heavyweight consortium of Chinese biomedical and healthcare-focused funds said it would acquire San Diego-based biotech Ambrx, which abandoned an initial public offering last year, in a deal that opens a path to cutting-edge candidates in oncology therapies.

- here's the release