Biocons Cuban JV Gets US Senate Approval For Vaccines

Bangalore | Updated: Jul 28 2004, 04:38am hrs
Biocon said on Monday that its Cuban partner CIMAB (Centre for Molecular Immunology) in the joint venture with Biocon Biopharmaceuticals, will now be able to license out three experimental cancer drugs to a Californian Biotechnology company, CancerVax Corporation.

This follows a first-of-its-kind transaction between Cuba and USA, where CancerVax received a rare US government approval to license CIMAB drugs.

CIMABs deal with CancerVax will involve both clinical development and manufacturing of the vaccines for which CancerVax will make an upfront payment of $6 million payable over three years and an additional $35 million and royalties upon commercialisation to CIMAB.

The territories covered in the agreement include the US, Europe and Japan.

Biocon has obtained territorial rights for these vaccines for the Indian sub-continent. The three vaccines have only recently been added to CIMABs Indian JV with Biocon, Biocon Biopharmaceuticals, where the two partners will conduct both clinical trials and jointly develop a large-scale process technology for manufacturing the vaccines using a proprietary fusion protein technology, said a press release.

The CancerVax-CIMAB deal involves three experimental cancer vaccines, known as immunotherapies, which induce the bodys immune system to produce specific antibodies that target known cancer targets.

Commenting on the CancerVax deal, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairman and managing director of Biocon, said, This is a great endorsement for CIMABs cutting edge science...Biocon is indeed fortunate to have such a valuable JV partner which has enabled us to generate a truly unique proprietary product pipeline along with CIMAB.