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Pfizer has signed a deal with a French biotech company Cellectis

By: Pharma News | Views: 638 | Date: 22-Apr-2015

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) has a signed a deal with French biotech company, Cellectis, to develop cancer immunotherapies. Under the agreement, Cellectis will develop the drugs, and Pfizer will make an upfront payment of $80 million, as well as regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to $185 million for each product developed.

To stay afloat in the oncology market, Pfizer has signed a deal with a French biotech company to develop immunotherapies

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) has a signed a deal with French biotech company, Cellectis, to develop cancer immunotherapies. Under the agreement, Cellectis will develop the drugs, and Pfizer will make an upfront payment of $80 million, as well as regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to $185 million for each product developed.

The immunotherapies are of the Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) variety, aimed at certain targets. Cellectis has an established CAR-T platform that has the ability to use single-donor engineered T-Cells for multiple patients. As per the agreement, Pfizer will pick fifteen targets to which the therapy will be directed and will take the lead in developing and commercializing any CAR-T therapies. Pfizer- selected targets will be worked on by both companies. Cellectis will also select four targets of its own, for which it will likewise be responsible for both development and commercialization.

Pfizer is also looking to purchase a 10% stake in the company for 9.25 euros apiece. These newly-issued shares will potentially give Pfizer equity in the company, but this section of the deal requires two-third Cellectis shareholder majority. Currency, however, 52.8% of the shareholders are on board with the matter.

Shares of Cellectis rose over 50% on the news.

Pfizer needs this deal to expand into the oncology space, given that it had recently failed to acquire British pharmaceutical, AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (AZN). Pfizer could have benefited significantly from AZ’s expansive oncology pipeline.

Additionally, Pfizer announced yesterday that it had submitted an application to the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) for its vaccine candidate to treat invasive meningococcal disease. FDA approval would be an important step forward for treatment of the disease, which is not only difficult to diagnose but has a high mortality rate.

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