Pfizer, BioAtla Sign Potential $1 Billion Biologics Deal
Pfizer has entered into a license and option agreement with BioAtla LLC, a biotechnology company focused on the development of conditionally active biologic (CAB) antibody therapeutics, today to advance the development and commercialization of a new class of antibody therapeutics based on BioAtla's CAB platform and using Pfizer's proprietary antibody drug conjugate (ADC) payloads.
Under the agreement, BioAtla and Pfizer will each have a license to the other's respective technology to pursue the development and commercialization of several CAB-ADC antibodies. Pfizer also gains an exclusive option to develop and commercialize BioAtla CAB antibodies that target CTLA4, a validated immuno-oncology target in humans. If successful, BioAtla's technology would allow the selective targeting of CTLA4 expressed on immune cells localized in the tumor microenvironment. BioAtla and Pfizer are both eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties based on individual CAB-ADC antibody candidates developed and commercialized by the other party. Including the CTLA4 option and license, BioAtla is eligible to receive a potential total of more than $1.0 billion in up-front, regulatory and sales milestone payments as well as tiered marginal royalties reaching double digits on potential future product sales.
CAB-ADC antibodies aim to address the inherent limitations of current ADC antibody technology by actively binding to antigens expressed on tumor tissue-resident cancer cells, but not to the same antigens expressed on normal cells in non-diseased tissues. If successful, this approach would allow the preferential targeting of tumor tissues by ADCs, thereby increasing the efficacy-safety ratios of CAB-ADCs relative to their conventional counterparts. The use of CAB antibodies as payload delivery vehicles could increase the number of tumor-associated antigens that are addressable with ADC technology, according to BioAtla.
CAB proteins can be generated in several different formats including naked monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), antibody drug conjugates, immune checkpoint inhibitors, bispecific antibodies, and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells. CAB proteins are generated using BioAtla's proprietary protein discovery, evolution, screening and expression technologies. These proteins can be mAbs, enzymes and other proteins designed with functions dependent on changes in microphysiological conditions.