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Celgene and GlobeImmune to collaborate

GlobeImmune has granted exclusive rights to Celgene to develop drugs intended to stimulate the immune system against cancer in a $500m deal

Research biotech GlobeImmune has granted exclusive rights to Celgene Corp to develop drugs intended to stimulate the immune system against cancer in a deal that could be worth more than $500m.

New Jersey-based Celgene will pay GlobeImmune $40m upfront, which includes an equity stake in the privately held company.

GlobeImmune, based in Louisville, will handle early-stage development of the drug candidates, called Tarmogens, and Celgene will have the option to obtain an exclusive global licence to develop and sell the drugs under the partnership.

GlobeImmune's drugs will have to meet various research milestones to trigger further payments from Celgene. The $500m potential total includes royalties Celgene would pay to GlobeImmune on future sales of drugs if they are approved.

The Tarmogen drugs contain a genetically engineered yeast that also contains antibodies designed to fight disease. The drugs are intended to boost the body's immune system. GlobeImmune has one drug, GI-4000, in mid-stage testing against pancreatic and non-small cell lung cancer. 

"The partnership with GlobeImmune supports our goal to identify and develop high-potential oncology therapies based on significant, innovative science," said Thomas Daniel, president of research for Celgene. "The Tarmogen technology has the potential to address a number of highly defined unmet medical needs."

18th May 2009

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