Roche licenses preclinical stage oncology program from Galaxy Biotech
Basel, Switzerland and Sunnyvale, CA, USA, 24 September 2012
Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) and Galaxy Biotech, LLC (“Galaxy”) announced that Roche has licensed exclusive worldwide development and commercialization rights to Galaxy’s antibodies targeting fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) for the treatment of cancer.
FGF2 is overexpressed in many types of cancer, and for some tumor types a high level of FGF2 expression correlates with poor clinical outcome. FGF2 has been shown to stimulate not only angiogenesis but also lymphangiogenesis, which may be important in cancer metastasis.
Galaxy has developed a novel antibody that neutralizes the biological activity of FGF2, and in published scientific work has shown that the antibody effectively inhibits the growth of certain tumors in animal models.
Under the terms of the agreement, Galaxy will receive an $8 million license fee, and milestone payments contingent on various preclinical, clinical, and regulatory development events, as well as royalties on product sales.
Mike Burgess, acting Head of Roche Pharma Research and Early Development, commented “Galaxy’s humanized monoclonal antibody to FGF2 has demonstrated considerable promise in preclinical studies, and we look forward to developing this and possibly other derivative compounds to complement Roche’s already strong portfolio of antibody products in the oncology field.”
Dr. Cary Queen, President of Galaxy Biotech, said “Roche is one of the world’s leading healthcare companies, with a broad portfolio of innovative products. We are very gratified by their interest in our anti-FGF2 antibodies, and extremely pleased that they will take responsibility for clinical development and commercialization of the program. We could not have hoped for a better partner.”
Geller Biopharm Inc served as Galaxy’s exclusive agent for this license agreement. DLA Piper LLP acted as Galaxy’s legal counsel on this transaction. Partial funding for Galaxy’s FGF2 antibody program has been provided by Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants from the National Institutes of Health.
About Galaxy Biotech
Galaxy Biotech, LLC, is a closely held 10-year old company with laboratories in Sunnyvale, CA, which is developing humanized antibodies against growth factors and their receptors for the treatment of cancer. Including the current agreement, Galaxy has licensed three of its antibody programs to biopharmaceutical companies, although the rights to antibodies targeting hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) were recently returned to the company, and the company is currently seeking a new partner for clinical development and commercialization. Galaxy was founded by Cary Queen, Ph.D., a senior biotechnology executive who previously co-founded Protein Design Labs, Inc. and developed fundamental technology for the humanization of antibodies that has been widely used and licensed in the pharmaceutical industry; K. Jin Kim, Ph.D., a leading scientist in the field of monoclonal antibodies and their application to cancer, who led the development of the mouse precursor antibody of Avastin® while a Senior Scientist at Genentech, Inc.; and James Larrick, M.D., Ph.D., who has founded numerous biotechnology companies. For more information: www.galaxybiotech.com
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalized healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2011, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 42.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com
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