06 May 2009   |   News

Sanofi softens Oxford BioMedica’s TroVax blow with eye disease deal


Sanofi-aventis has handed back Oxford BioMedica’s TroVax gene therapy cancer treatment, following the product’s failure to reach the primary endpoint in a Phase III study in renal cancer.

Softening the blow that the $690 million deal was at an end, sanofi-aventis agreed a new deal to develop gene therapies for eye diseases using Oxford BioMedica’s LentiVector delivery technology.

The terms include an upfront payment of $26 million and committed funding of up to a further $24 million over three years, but this is small beer in comparison to the $74 million Oxford BioMedica received from sanofi in the first year of the TroVax alliance, agreed in March 2007.

The decision to hand back TroVax was blamed on sanofi-aventis’s reprioritisation of its product portfolio. Along with the rights, Oxford BioMedica will receive a payment of $16.5 million, which includes an amount in settlement of certain previously committed development costs.

In addition, sanofi-aventis will support Oxford BioMedica at a forthcoming meeting with the FDA to assess the results of the Phase III trial in renal cancer and to secure guidance on potential further clinical development. If the FDA feedback is positive Oxford BioMedica said it will pursue a new partner for TroVax.  

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