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ADCs form part of a new generation of cancer treatments, aiming to target tumor cells while sparing healthy ones. Under the terms of the deal, Pyxis has obtained a worldwide licence to two of Pfizer’s ADC candidates, as well as its ADC technology platform.
In return, Pfizer will get an upfront payment and equity stake in the Boston start-up, although the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“This collaboration represents successful execution of our overarching corporate strategy to marry in-house organic growth with strategic in-licensing and partnerships to develop our multi-asset multi-platform portfolio,” said Lara Sullivan, Pyxis CEO.
“We look forward to advancing these candidates to the clinic and ultimately achieving the company’s vision to bring new treatment options to patients with difficult-to-treat cancer,” added Sullivan, who herself worked at Pfizer as vice president from 2011 to 2017.
Pfizer will also be eligible for tiered royalties and sales-based milestone payments, with Pyxis given responsibility for commercialising the candidates, known as PYX-201 and PYX-203.
Pfizer’s chief scientific officer for oncology R&D, Jeff Settleman, said that “Pyxis’ team of industry veterans has the experience needed to maximise the clinical potential of these therapeutics”.
Interest in ADCs has grown in recent years, with major pharmaceutical companies such as Daiichi entering the space—and occasionally encountering IP issues.
Last October, LSIPR reported that California-based Seagen had sued Daiichi over its flagship ADC Enhertu, the Japanese company’s collaboration with AstraZeneca. Enhertu has been approved for use by regulators including the US Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency.
Seagen claimed that Daiichi, a “new entrant in the ADC field”, had infringed a Seagen patent covering a means of attaching drugs to an antibody.
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Pfizer, Pyxis Oncology, ADCs, cancer, antibody, licensing, Lara Sullivan, Seagen, Daiichi