Celgene Signs License Deal With GlobeImmune | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: May 18, 2009

Celgene Signs License Deal With GlobeImmune

Celgene gets rights to biotech firm's oncology programs
Department: Business

GlobeImmune and Celgene have signed an agreement to discover, develop, and commercialize oncology drug candidates based on GlobeImmune's molecular immunotherapy technology.

Under the terms of the agreement, Celgene will pay GlobeImmune $40 million up front, which includes an equity investment in GlobeImmune. In return, Celgene will receive exclusive options to all of GlobeImmune's oncology programs, including GI-4000, currently in Phase II trials for pancreatic cancer.

The deal specifies that GlobeImmune will conduct early development on new compounds, and Celgene will have the option to obtain an exclusive worldwide license to further develop and commercialize them. GlobeImmune is eligible to receive more than $500 million in development and regulatory milestones, royalties, and additional milestone payments based on sales of licensed products.

GlobeImmune says its targeted molecular immunogens (Tarmogens) are yeast genetically modified to express one or more protein targets that stimulate the immune system against diseased cells. The firm says the technology is adaptable to a range of proteins, including those encoded by the ras oncogene, considered the most commonly mutated oncogene in human cancer. Tarmogens create an immune response that improves with subsequent doses, according to GlobeImmune.

"The partnership with GlobeImmune supports our goal to identify and develop high-potential oncology therapies based on significant innovative science," says Celgene President Thomas Daniel. "The Tarmogen technology has the potential to address a number of highly-defined unmet medical needs."

The deal marks Celgene's second investment in GlobeImmune. It was among the investors in a $41.2 million financing round for GlobeImmune in 2007. Celgene's main product is Revlimid, an analogue of thalidomide that is used to treat multiple myeloma.

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