Pfizer grabs cancer vaccine in $440M licensing deal

Avant Immunotherapeutics is pocketing a $40 million upfront fee and a $10 million equity stake from Pfizer in exchange for the worldwide rights to Avant's experimental brain cancer vaccine. And there's a whopping $390 million up for grabs in a schedule of milestone paydays. Avant gained control of CDX-110 after completing a merger with Celldex Therapeutics earlier this year.

CDX-110 is in a mid-stage trial designed to demonstrate its efficacy against a defective protein that promotes brain cancer. Pfizer has agreed to take over all development activities and pay out a double-digit royalty to Avant on an approved therapy. Pfizer also gains exclusive rights to EGFRvIII vaccines for other uses.

CDX-110 is designed to target the mutant EGFRvIII protein, which is expressed by cancer cells. About 40 percent of all glioblastoma multiforme tumors contain the mutant. In clinical studies, patients expressing the mutant protein were treated after their tumors were removed by surgery. And those patients treated with CDX-110 demonstrated prolonged progression-free survival.

- here's the release
- read the report in TheStreet.com  
- read the article from Forbes on Pfizer's cancer strategy

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