According to Massachusetts-headquartered Aveo Pharmaceuticals, Novartis has terminated a license agreement granting the exclusive worldwide right to develop and commercialise investigational antibody AV-380.
In 2015, Novartis paid Aveo $15m (€12.7m) upfront for the AV-380 programme, which also covers Aveo’s antibodies that inhibit growth differentiation Factor 15 (GDF15). The antibodies are designed to treat cancer-related ‘wasting syndrome’ cachexia.
In a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, published on June 29, Aveo stated the Swiss firm “informed [Aveo] that the AV-380 programme is an important asset and that the previously disclosed development delays, and ultimately the Novartis decision not to pursue further development, is the result of changes in management and strategic priorities within Novartis.”
A parallel dispute
Prior to terminating the contract, Aveo issued Novartis a dispute notice highlighting ‘diligence obligations’ related to the AV-380 programme.
According to Aveo, “the next step in the dispute resolution procedures will be discussions between [Aveo] and Novartis management…If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute at the management level, an arbitration could be commenced.”
“These dispute resolution procedures would run in parallel to the termination process,” the firm added.
Novartis did not response to a request for comment.