Avid Bioservices and Oncologie in Pact for Avid's mAb

By Akia Thorpe -

February 21, 2018

Oncologie, a Boston, Massachusetts-headquartered biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutics in oncology, has formed an asset assignment and purchase agreement for Avid Bioservices’ phosphatidylserine (PS)-targeting program, including bavituximab. Avid Bioservices is a Tustin, California-based contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) focused on development and cGMP manufacturing of biopharmaceutical products derived from mammalian cell culture.

In January 2018, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical focused on developing therapeutics to stimulate the body’s immune system, announced that it was changing its name to Avid Bioservices as part of its transition to becoming a dedicated CDMO. Avid Bioservices had operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of Peregrine Pharmaceuticals. Bavituximab was Peregrine’s lead immunotherapy candidate.

Under the agreement, Oncologie will receive access to Avid's phosphatidylserine (PS)-targeting program, including bavituximab. Bavituximab is an investigational immune-modulatory monoclonal antibody that targets PS, a phospholipid that inhibits the ability of immune cells to recognize and fight tumors. Avid Bioservices says bavituximab reverses PS-mediated immunosuppression by blocking the engagement of PS with its receptors as well as by sending an alternate immune-activating signal. In addition to bavituximab, the deal includes Avid's other PS-targeting antibodies, including betabodies, as well as certain other assets and licenses Oncologie considers useful and/or necessary for the potential commercialization of bavituximab.

Under the agreement, Avid will receive an aggregate of $8 million in upfront payments from Oncologie paid over a period of six months from the execution date of the agreement and will be eligible to receive up to $95 million in development, regulatory, and commercialization milestones.  Oncologie will be responsible for all future research, development, and commercialization of bavituximab, and related intellectual property costs, with Avid receiving royalties on net sales that are upward tiering into the mid-teens. As part of the deal, Oncologie says it will also partner with Avid for future contract development and manufacturing activities in support of bavituximab.

Separately, Avid reported that it has closed on its recent public offering of 10,294,445 shares of its common stock, including 1,294,445 shares sold pursuant to the underwriters' exercise of their option to purchase additional shares. The offering price was $2.25 per share, and the gross proceeds from the offering were $23.2 million before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by Avid Bioservices. Avid Bioservices intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for the expansion of its contract manufacturing business and general corporate purposes.

Source: Avid Bioservices (Oncologie pact) and Avid (public offering)