Oxford BioMedica has scored a major supply contract with Novartis for the lentiviral vectors the pharma giant uses in its CAR-T drugs, including the industry-leading CTL019, now under FDA review.
Oxford BioMedica is getting a $10 million payday to get the alliance started, and says it can earn up to $100 million over the course of the three-year pact. Novartis has an option to bump that to 5 years.
Shares of Oxford BioMedica (LSE:OXB) shot up on the news. Shares have doubled in value over the past month.
The deal aligns the British cell and gene therapy company with a pharma giant that has been steadily ramping up efforts on the commercial supply side to trim down the time it takes to extract cells from patients, engineer them with chimeric antigen receptors and then infuse them as powerful new cancer therapies.
Novartis recently attracted some unwanted attention with the news that it wasn’t always able to manufacture the therapy for patients in a pivotal trial, and its ability to beat out a rival Kite has been called in to question after the departure of its manufacturing chief for cell therapies.
Oxford BioMedica — founded in 1995 by Oxford professors Alan and Sue Kingsman — is also in line for royalties from Novartis. Jefferies believes that could be worth up to $97 million a year if CTL019 breaks the blockbuster barrier with $1 billion-plus in annual sales, according to Reuters. The next big step for Novartis comes on July 12 with an FDA panel review.
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