Deal deepens Novartis’s focus on immuno-oncology

Pharma major Novartis has agreed a commercialisation deal for Xencor’s anticancer antibodies. Novartis will pay $150 million (£113 million) up front, plus a potential $2.4 billion in performance-based milestone payments and royalties on succesful products.

The deal covers Xencor’s bispecific antibodies, which bind to two different antigen targets, allowing them to interact with different biological pathways to more conventional antibody drugs. Novartis will share development costs for two initial candidates, with Xencor retaining commercialicollabsation rights in the US, while Novartis takes rights for the rest of the world. Novartis will gain worldwide rights to further products coming out of the collaboration.