In November last year, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals called time on its in-house biologics pipeline in favour of focusing on and growing its contract development and biomanufacturing business, Avid Bioservices.
Now having dropped the Peregrine name the firm has entered an agreement to sell its phosphatidylserine (PS)-targeting programme – including lead candidate bavituximab – to Oncologie, Inc for $8m (€6.5m) upfront and $95m in potential milestone payments.
“This deal marks the completion of our transition to a dedicated CDMO [contract development and manufacturing organisation], while providing additional capital, both upfront and potentially downstream, to support our CDMO business,” said Avid CEO Roger Lias.
The decision to sell bavituximab – a chimeric monoclonal antibody (mAb) under US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fast-track designation for the treatment of second-line non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) – was also triggered by negative Phase III trial results announced in February 2016.
In September, Peregrine (Avid) said it was looking for a partner to invest in “the bavituximab program in order to validate the subset analysis from the Phase III SUNRISE trial and build on recent data from our collaborators.”
Selling the assets to Oncolgie, Lias said: “Oncologie is a company with a deep understanding of cancer biomarkers that might be particularly relevant to bavituximab and we believe they have the resources and expertise to maximize the potential of the program.”
In related news, Avid is looking to raise $20m from a public offering of its common stock set to close today. The firm intends to use the net proceeds to further expand its CDMO business
“The net proceeds from this offering are expected to be approximately $18.6 million (or $21.5 million if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares) after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses,” the firm said in its prospectus.
“We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering for the expansion of our contract manufacturing business and general corporate purposes.”