AstraZeneca, Inovio Form Immunotherapy HPV PactBy
MedImmune, the biologics arm of AstraZeneca,has entered into a license agreement and collaboration with Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company developing DNA-based immunotherapies for cancer and infectious diseases.
Under the agreement, MedImmune will acquire exclusive rights to Inovio's INO-3112 immunotherapy, which targets cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18. INO-3112. The therapy is is in Phase I/II clinical trials for cervical and head and neck cancers and works by generating killer T-cell responses that are able to destroy HPV 16- and 18-driven tumors. These HPV types are responsible for more than 70% of cervical pre-cancers and cancers. MedImmune intends to study INO-3112 in combination with selected immunotherapy molecules within its pipeline in HPV-driven cancers.
Under the agreement, MedImmune will make an upfront payment of $27.5 million to Inovio as well as potential future payments upon reaching development and commercial milestones totaling up to $700 million. MedImmune will fund all development costs. Inovio is entitled to receive up to double-digit tiered royalties on INO-3112 product sales.
Within the broader collaboration, MedImmune and Inovio will develop up to two additional DNA-based cancer vaccine products not included in Inovio's current product pipeline, which MedImmune will have the exclusive rights to develop and commercialize. Inovio will receive development, regulatory, and commercialization milestone payments and will be eligible to receive royalties on worldwide net sales for these additional cancer vaccine products.
The agreement builds on the existing partnership between Inovio and MedImmune on two research and development collaborations in the infectious disease area. Both efforts are funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, part of the US Department of Defense, and support R&D focused on Ebola, influenza, and bacterial infections.