GSK in $350-m cancer drug deal

New York Times Posted online: Tuesday, Jun 03, 2014 at 0000 hrs
London : Adaptimmune, a biotechnology company, said on Monday that it had reached a deal that could be worth more than $350 million to develop an early stage cancer drug with the pharmaceutical maker GlaxoSmithKline.

The deal comes a little over a month after Glaxo agreed to sell its cancer drug business to the Swiss drug maker Novartis as part of a swap of more than $20 billion in assets.

Founded in 2008, Adaptimmune, which is privately held, is developing cancer treatments designed to strengthen a patient’s white blood cells. The company’s research arm is based in Oxford, England, and its clinical operations are based in Philadelphia.

Adaptimmune could receive more than $350 million in payments from Glaxo over the next seven years. It would receive additional payments if Glaxo exercised all of its options under the deal and if certain milestones were met.

Glaxo’s development and manufacturing expertise “will be invaluable as we work together to accelerate the development of our programs and bring potentially breakthrough cancer therapies to patients,” James Noble, Adaptimmune’s chief executive, said in a statement.

In April, Novartis agreed to buy Glaxo’s cancer drug business for about $16 billion as part of an asset swap. In return, GlaxoSmithKline said that it would pay about $7.1 billion for Novartis’s vaccine business. Despite the deal, Glaxo has not ruled out additional development deals in the oncology sector.

Novartis and Glaxo also agreed to combine Novartis’s over-the-counter pharmaceutical business with Glaxo’s consumer drug business. The combined operation would include Novartis’s Excedrin pain reliever and Maalox antacid, and Glaxo’s Aquafresh toothpaste and Nicorette gum. NYT