It was only five years ago that the number of abstracts on CAR T cell therapies at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) ran to a dozen or less. Fast forward to 2016 and we now have tens of them, almost too many to count, let along review quickly and easily.
A scene from ASH 2015…
To give you an idea of the staggering speed of progress, in 2010 it took me less than half an hour to search and read all the CAR T cell abstracts, now it takes nearly a whole day to peruse and review them carefully.
We can’t resist a challenge…
As usual, we will write in more depth from the meeting as the data emerges in real time since many of the abstracts are often placeholders with updated information provided at the conference itself.
For now, here we provide an in-depth preview of the CAR T cell landscape in terms of the players, the products, new scientific research, biomarkers, emerging trends and more in a handy What to Watch For (W2W4) guide on key areas to expect at ASH to enable better enjoyment and awareness as the data rolls out next month.
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Following on from the recent rise in Xoma shares, that i discussed in yesterday’s blog post, the company announced this morning that they have signed a commercialization deal with Les Laboratoires Servier, France’s largest privately held pharmaceutical company (2010 revenue 3.7 billion euros).
According to the press release, the key elements of the deal are:
- XOMA will receive approximately $35 million upfront, up to approximately $470 million in milestone payments and tiered royalties up to a mid-teens percentage rate.
- XOMA retains development and commercialization rights for Behcet’s uveitis and other inflammatory and oncology indications in U.S. and Japan. Servier receives similar rights in the rest of the world.
- Servier will fund the first $50 million of XOMA 052 development expenses and 50% of further expenses for the Behcet’s uveitis indication. XOMA 052 is expected to advance into Phase 3 development in Behcet’s uveitis in 2011.
- Servier will fund development for diabetes and cardiovascular disease indications in exchange for worldwide rights.
- XOMA retains an option to reacquire the development and commercialization rights to the diabetes and cardiovascular indications in the U.S. and Japan by paying an option fee and partial reimbursement of incurred development expenses. If XOMA reacquires these rights, it has the ability to license them to one or more third parties.
It is a large injection of cash into Xoma that will help fund phase 3 clinical trials. The regional deal also keeps open the possibility of licensing U.S. marketing rights to another partner in the future. The only surprise perhaps is the timing of the announcement which is in advance of the phase 2 clinical trial results for Xoma 052 in diabetes. The expectation from all the signals is that this data will be positive.
There are no guarantees in clinical research, so it will be interesting to see what happens to Xoma 052 as it moves forward in development.