18 November 2002 11:12 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--Shares in Antisoma, the UK pharmaceutical company which specialises in developing cancer treatments, almost doubled on Monday after it announced an exclusive deal to sell the worldwide rights to its oncology product pipeline to Swiss life sciences giant Roche.
Worth up to $500m (Euro497m) to Antisoma, the deal includes Pemtumomab, which is already in phase III development for ovarian cancer and could be the subject of product licence applications as early as 2004. Also included are three other oncology compounds, Therex, TheraFab and DMXAA that are currently in phase I clinical trials.
Roche will also have rights to opt in to any pre-clinical programs that advance into clinical trials during a five-year period.
The Swiss group, which is already one of the world's largest producers of cancer drugs, will initially pay £4.15m ($6.55m/Euro6.51m) for new Antisoma shares equivalent to just under 10% of the current share capital. In addition, Roche will make an undisclosed cash payment to gain access to the existing Antisoma portfolio and provide the UK company with further access, development and milestone and commercial payments based on compounds successfully reaching critical stages. Key milestones will be entry into phase III trials and marketing approvals.
Roche said payments to Antisoma could exceed $500m if all existing pipeline products were successfully launched. In addition, Antisoma will receive royalties on product sales. Roche will cover in full the remaining development costs of Pemtumomab and Therex.
Antisoma will be responsible for advancing new oncology compounds into clinical development. Roche will gain the right, for five years, to opt in to any program upon entry to human clinical trials and then to co-develop and commercialise products on a worldwide basis.
The deal sent shares in Antisoma soaring on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). At about 10:40 hours GMT, they were up 92% at 24.5 pence.
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