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BioBiz: Bristol Myers Squibb to Pay Up to $1.38 Billion to License Agenus’ Oncology Drug

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Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) will gain the global rights to Agenus’ investigational cancer drug, AGEN1777, in a deal worth up to $1.38 billion.

Under the licensing agreement, BMS will spearhead development and commercialization of the bispecific antibody, which works by blocking T-cell immunoreceptors and boosting natural killer cells to fight tumors.

Agenus expects to file an Investigational New Drug application with the FDA during this quarter and BMS anticipates developing the drug as a treatment for nonsmall-cell lung cancer among other cancer indications.

BMS will pay Agenus $200 million upfront, with Agenus eligible to receive an additional $1.36 billion in milestones-based payments as well as royalties on sales.

Q BioMed Inc. signed a securities purchase agreement with Aedesius Holdings Ltd (AedesiusOne), a  privately-owned United Kingdom-based healthcare and technology aggregator. The agreement gives AedesiusOne the opportunity to buy approximately 43% of the outstanding QBIO shares for an aggregate of $30,000,000. The Transaction is structured as an initial investment of $5,000,000 with an additional $15,000,000 by September 30, 2021 with 50% warrant coverage allowing an additional $10,000,000 investment within 120 days. The Unit Price is set at $1.25 per share, a 31% premium to yesterday’s closing price. The investor is expected to ultimately take a seat on the Board.

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday granted Apellis Pharmaceuticals approval to start selling Empaveli, to treat a rare, life-threatening blood disease known as paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria or PNH. Empaveli is now approved for adult patients who have never received treatment, as well as those switching off of Alexion’s two marketed PNH therapies, Soliris and Ultomiris.

Fate Therapeutics reported new results from two early-stage studies testing two types of experimental leukemia treatments that use natural killer cells, an emerging form of cancer immunotherapy. Four of nine patients who received one Fate NK cell therapy showed evidence of a response, as did one of three who got a different type of NK cell therapy. There were no instances of the neurological or immune-related side effects seen with other forms of cell therapy and there were also no side effects that would prevent testing of higher doses, according to the company.

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