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Menarini and OBT Sign Major Strategic Collaboration

Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Last Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
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Strategic alliance for the clinical development and manufacture of a portfolio of novel antibody-based cancer drugs.

Menarini and Oxford BioTherapeutics (OBT) have announced a major innovative and strategic alliance to develop a portfolio of antibody-based drugs in the field of cancer.

The agreement covers five of OBT’s antibody and antibody drug conjugate (ADC) programs, each of which addresses a different cancer indication via a different novel oncology target.

The deal brings together OBT’s discovery expertise with Menarini’s clinical knowledge, and expanding capabilities in the manufacture and development of biologics, to build value for both companies as they work to bring this exciting portfolio of next generation antibody-based cancer drugs to market.

Under the collaboration, Menarini will lead the efforts in the manufacture and clinical development of each program, supported by OBT, while OBT will provide the proprietary cancer target, antibody and arming technologies.

Once clinical proof of concept has been achieved, OBT will complete the clinical development and commercialize these novel antibody-based products in North America and Japan, whilst Menarini will develop and commercialize the products in Europe, CIS, Asia and Latin America.

Christian Rohlff, CEO of OBT, commented, “I am delighted to collaborate with Menarini, a company that has made impressive achievements in biologics development and demonstrated an enduring commitment to the development of innovative cancer therapies. This creative alliance is transformational for us as it allows OBT to participate in the clinical development and future commercialization of our programs while at the same time it bolsters Menarini’s pipeline with a portfolio of the next generation of cancer drugs. We believe this innovative business framework could become the business model of choice for rapidly growing biotechnology companies seeking new ways to develop their drug pipeline effectively.”

Alberto Giovanni Aleotti, member of the Board of A. Menarini, commented, “We are eager to start our collaboration with OBT, an oncology company with a proven track record of generating innovative antibody-based cancer drug candidates that are designed to address high unmet medical needs. I am very pleased that this novel strategic alliance, which foresees the development and manufacture of up to 5 cancer treatment programs and a total investment of 800 million Euro, will enable us to further demonstrate our deep and long standing commitment to the fight against cancer, which has always been crucial to Menarini’s overall corporate mission.”

OBT’s dedicated development operation in Basel, Switzerland, established in May 2012 under the direction of COO Dr. Esteban Pombo, will perform a central role in supporting the new collaboration as OBT and Menarini work together to progress OBT’s most advanced therapeutic antibody and antibody drug conjugate (ADC) oncology programs into clinical development.

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