Tocagen licenses immunotherapy to ApolloBio for $16M upfront; WuXi AppTec unveils expanded lab testing site in New Jersey
→ San Diego-based Tocagen $TOCA has inked a licensing deal with ApolloBio, giving an affiliate of the Beijing-based company an exclusive license to develop and commercialize its cancer-selective immunotherapy. Tocagen’s treatment, called Toca 511 & Toca FC, is currently in a Phase III trial in patients with certain brain tumors. The deal gives ApolloBio rights in greater China, including mainland, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. Tocagen will get a $16 million upfront payment, along with $4 million in “near-term” milestone payments. The company’s also eligible for additional future payments totaling $111 million, Tocagen said in a statement. “As an innovative biopharmaceutical company in China, ApolloBio is well positioned to leverage China’s recent regulatory changes supporting the development of new medicines,” said Marty Duvall, CEO of Tocagen, in a statement. “ApolloBio brings valuable regional expertise in product development, regulation and healthcare access, positioning our lead product to advance towards patients in the greater China region as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
→ Novartis is stepping up its involvement with “digital therapeutics,” pairing with Pear Therapeutics on two of its programs for substance use disorder and opioid abuse. The substance use disorder tech is ready for marketing while Pear is lining up an OK regarding opioid abuse.
→ WuXi AppTec has cut the ribbons at its expanded lab testing facility in New Jersey, giving the team more than 115,000 square feet to conduct preclinical and clinical drug development testing for biopharma clients. Betting on the growth of the state’s life science hub, the Shanghai-headquartered global CRO said the expansion — complete with 200 new hires — will allow faster turnaround times and stronger connection with customers. “We will continue to enhance WuXi’s capabilities and capacities to enable our global partners to discover and develop drugs more efficiently and cost effectively ultimately benefitting patients worldwide,” said CEO Ge Li in a statement.