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Celtic Pharmaceutical Holdings L.P.

Drug Names(s): DISC-GMCSF

Description: DISC-GMCSF is a gene therapy product comprising Xenova's proprietary DISC HSV gene delivery vector together with the cytokine gene, GM-CSF. Its aim is to render tumour cells immunogenic, that is, recognisable for attack by the immune system. This would in turn stimulate a general attack by the immune system on cancer cells wherever they are in the body. Hence, the product has the potential to destroy not only the cells in the primary tumour, but also those of potentially dangerous metastases that may have migrated elsewhere in the body. It may also provide the body with immunological 'memory' that could protect against subsequently recurring tumours. DISC-GMCSF is the first in a potential series of immunotherapeutic product candidates for cancer using the DISC HSV vector as a platform.

Deal Structure: In January 2005, Xenova Group signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Oxxon Therapeutics Ltd potentially worth up to 44 million ($83 million, U.S. Dollar amounts translated at a rate of 1.00:$1.88 purely for information) in up-front and milestone payments, in addition to royalties on product sales.

The agreement provides Oxxon with the right to use the DISC-HSV Vector (Disabled Infectious Single Cycle -- Herpes Simplex Virus) in a number of specified indications in the areas of oncology and infectious diseases. Oxxon also has the option to further, as yet unspecified, indications subject to payment of additional fees. The agreement includes global development, manufacturing and marketing rights to DISC-GM-CSF. Xenova retains the rights to the DISC-PRO vaccine programme for the prophylaxis of herpes virus diseases.

Oxxon will pay Xenova an upfront fee spread over 24 months and milestone payments on the first four products to complete commercialisation, potentially worth up...See full deal structure in Biomedtracker


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