BioInvent’s Deal with Roche – Are Early-Stage Deals on the Rise?




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Video title: BioInvent’s Deal with Roche – Are Early-Stage Deals on the Rise?
Released on: July 31, 2008. © PharmaVentures Ltd
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In this interview Fintan Walton speaks with Martin Wiles, Vice President of Business Development of BioInvent International based in Lund Sweden about the deal which Bio Invent has entered into with Roche for their jointly developed anti-cancer agent TB-403. The discussion reveals the qualities which made Roche the ideal partner for this deal, including its expertise in oncology, the fact that the deal was given a good valuation, and the ability for BioInvent to remain involved in the programme throughout its development. Martin describes the potential therapeutic focus of this early-stage product suggesting that it may have implications both within and outside of oncology. The terms of this milestone 450K Euro scheme were discussed, along with the interesting point that one must balance the risk of forming partnerships too early in the stage, and indeed whether larger pharmas are considering early-stage partnerships with increasing interest as part of a broad strategy.
The deal of BioInvent International with Roche
Fintan Walton :
Hello and welcome to PharmaVentures business review here live in San Diego, California. On this show I haveMartin Wiles , who is Vice President of Business Development at BioInvent International Lund, Sweden. Welcome.
Martin Wiles :
Thank you.
Fintan Walton :
Martin Wiles , BioInvent International has just announced a deal, a very important deal with Roche, around a product that was originated from the collaboration that you have with the Belgium company ThromboGenics. Could you tell us about this deal [PharmaDeals ID = 30532] [DOI: 10.3833/pdr.v2008i97.166] that you've just done?
Martin Wiles :
Yeah, sure. Well it's a great deal for both companies ThromboGenics and BioInvent International. And it's a great validation of the approach that we were taking to develop this antibody and (indiscernable) PLGFin presentable growth factors. It's " in terms of the deal structure it's a " it got everything we were looking for. We found a good partner in Roche , they have great expertise in oncology and in particular about Anti-Angiogenesis. We got a good valuation for the deal and we also have an opportunity to remain involved in the program throughout this development. So we, we will " BioInvent International will continue to do manufacturing of antibody for short while. And we will continue to do research for other indications outside of oncology. And additionally right down the line we will hopefully have the opportunity to co-promote in the Benelux and the Nordic, and Baltic states.
Termas,Qualities and Valuations of the deal with Roche.
Fintan Walton :
Okay. So what were the precise terms then?
Martin Wiles :
Well the overall milestone schemes 450 million plus an upfront of "50 million. And we got double digit royalties on sales product.
Fintan Walton :
And is that divided between BioInvent International and ThromboGenics?
Martin Wiles :
That's correct. Yes. We, if we go back in time, we eventually " or initially did a deal [PharmaDeals ID = 17953] with ThromboGenics where we decided that we will co-develop the PLGF(C58) product a short way and then look for another partner.
Fintan Walton :
Right.
Martin Wiles :
In that agreement we decided that we would split the revenues 60-40, so on this deal with Roche the milestones, upfronts and the royalties will be suppose 60-40.
Fintan Walton :
60 presumably to BioInvent International -- ThromboGenics?
Martin Wiles :
No, no 60 toThromboGenics, because they were the originator and they came into the collaboration [PharmaDeals ID = 26162] with the lead candidate.
Fintan Walton :
With the antibody?
Martin Wiles :
Yeah.
Fintan Walton :
Yeah. So clearly this is an antibody based product, it's presumably humanized antibody?
Martin Wiles :
That's correct, yeah.
Fintan Walton :
Now clearly it's important for " for the -- particularly for oncology, could you tell us a little bit more about the specific you know therapeutic focus for the this particular antibody".
Martin Wiles :
Sure. Okay.
Fintan Walton :
Where it fits in that particular spectrum?
Martin Wiles :
Well I think that, the thing about PLGF which is " which is rather a nice feature of it, is that it's only relevant in the pathogenic state, so one of the reasons why we could do a clinical trial actually, the reason that just a clinical trial we completed which is a Phase IA was in healthy volunteers, now for oncology products, that's not normal.
Fintan Walton :
Yeah.
Martin Wiles :
But you could do that in a situation because PLGF'sis not expressed in the healthy volunteers. So it's only relevant in the disease state. And so, I think that's " as a very good thing. So it means that we don't have the potential for adverse events you might have with other products. The other thing that is really useful about is not only really have that for application as they arise, [ph] but it can bolt on to existing therapies. I hope for example there are some therapies which are now targeting various points in VEGF pathway for example, more than one. Well Avastin will only deal with one. So with PLGF and Avastin together you can have nice a combination therapy which perhaps will show enhance benefits even about Avastin which is doing very well.
Fintan Walton :
Now it's " it's currently well has just completed Phase IA, is that correct?
Martin Wiles :
That's correct, yeah.
The signficance of the deal for BioInvent International.
Fintan Walton :
So it's quite an early stage product for Roche to in license at this stage. Now looking at BioInvent International itself and how this fits within your own portfolio, to give us some sort of understanding of how important this deal is in terms of BioInvent International ?
Martin Wiles :
Sure. Well BioInvent International is relatively new in terms of developing products for comparing with, say Roche. So we always wish to do deals where we can learn. And we also don't wish to take on too much development and actually make a mess of it. So it's good to choose the right time to partner and this program will be a complex development program, so it was an ideal time for us to partner now. The number of clinical trials was going to increase exponentially and within our resources it wasn't going to see something that we could really strictly take up. So it's good time to partner. Oncology is an increasing focus for BioInvent International . And there are just more projects out there in the oncology space. And it's nice to have a validation of one of the projects that we identified is being good by a third party.
Fintan Walton :
Sure. So clearly when it comes to developing as you say taking products forward. It's good to find a partner, but for one observation would be that may be you have partnered too soon?
Martin Wiles :
Yeah, well a lot of people say that. But you know if we waited to later may be we don't have a product, there is a risk balance. And I " and I think it's important that the valuation that we got for this project was relevant to the state as a -- of the program as it is. And I think it is a good valuation. I think that " as I said before the complexity of the program would have gone up exponentially and I think that's a very important to understand, and would probably be stretching the capabilities of the partnership.
Fintan Walton :
But also, as antibodies become more popular in the sense with people are more confident particularly companies like Roche who have " antibodies you sometimes wonder whether this is symptomatic early stage deals of companies looking now to do deals at early and earlier stage. Is that, is that sense that you got for that?
Martin Wiles :
I think that"
Fintan Walton :
I mean talking about big pharma in the"..?
Martin Wiles :
That, yes. I think big pharma are moving towards earlier stage deals, there is no doubt about it, there are less of the later stage deals that they traditionally wanted...
Fintan Walton :
Sure.
Martin Wiles :
and looked for, so they have to look earlier. So, yeah I guess this is sort of thing that they need to look for.
Fintan Walton :
Just coming back to the deal again, you mentioned that you have " you retained certain rights to just look at newer other indications and so forth with the compound?
Martin Wiles :
Yeah.
Fintan Walton :
So you are taking, you are taking the full responsibility for that and funding that yourselves?
Martin Wiles :
No, the Roche will fund the research required for the additional indications.
Fintan Walton :
Okay. All right. But you are gonna be the " the ones that are actually doing that?
Martin Wiles :
We will, we will do it, yes.
Fintan Walton :
Okay. So it sounds like you guys in BioInvent International are pretty, pretty happy with this deal?
Martin Wiles :
Yes. It's a great deal for us. I think it's so, a lot of the point as I said before good partner, good valuation, and a great opportunity for us to stay involved with the program throughout its development.
Fintan Walton :
Excellent. Well thanks a lot Martin Wiles for coming on to the show and telling us all about the recent deal that you've just done. Thank you very much indeed.
Martin Wiles :
Thank you very much.
Martin Wiles
Vice President of business development
Mr. Martin Wiles serves as Senior Vice President for Business Development of BioInvent International AB. He has been employed by the Company since 2003. Between 1999 and 2003, he was Head of Business Development at KS Biomedix Holdings Plc. He holds a Masters of Business Administration degree and a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Chemistry.
BioInvent International
BioInvent International is developing human antibody drugs based on unique medical concepts in areas with blockbuster potential such as HIV , vascular diseases (I51.6) and cancer(C00-D48). In total, four different programs are in pre-clinical and clinical phase I/II development. BioInvent International has significant experience and expertise in immunology(D80-D89) that is combined with an extensive understanding of biology.BioInvent International's development focus complements its activities with collaborations with Industry partners and Academic Centers of Excellence such that all parties remain committed to successful development of the products. BioInvent International 's network in the Academic and Biotech community allows for successful sourcing of novel project.n-CoDeR, the proprietary antibody libraries, underpin the discovery and characterization of the fully human antibodies for the portfolio. This coupled with BioInvent International 's capacity to produce materials for clinical trials and at commercial scale provides an infrastructure that can expedite the development process. BioInvent International 's goal is to add maximal shareholder value in the drug development process, either by entering into alliances with pharmaceutical or biotech companies to get projects through late stage clinical development to full commercialization, or by performing the clinical development ourselves.