Palobiofarma, the Adenosine-focused Biotech Company based in Pamplona, Navarre, Spain, announced that they have entered into a licensing agreement with Novartis.Under the terms of the agreement Novartis will acquire exclusive global rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize Palobiofarma´s adenosine A2Areceptor antagonist PBF-509, currently entering Phase I clinical trials in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Additionally, Novartis will get access to several adenosine-related patents from Palobiofarma related to the role of adenosine in immunotherapy.
Tumour cells have developed mechanisms to evade the immune system, including through the production of a natural molecule called adenosine. By stimulating A2Areceptors, adenosine stops T-cells within the immune system from proliferating and reduces their ability to destroy cancer cells. Blocking A2Areceptors can therefore promote the anti-cancer response of T-cells within in the tumour microenvironment.
Palobiofarma will receive an upfront payment of $15 million USD and is eligible to receive near-term clinical milestones and is eligible to receive development and commercial milestones on successful projects as well up to double-digit tiered royalties on net sales.
Julio Castro, Chief Executive Officer of Palobiofarma, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Novartis, a strong player in the immuno-oncology field. This agreement represents one of the best agreements ever signed in the history of the Spanish Biotechnology, and we are very proud of it. We have good reasons to believe that the current agreement is just the start of a successful research and development collaboration between the two companies”
Palobiofarma is a Spanish Biotechnology company founded in 2006 and focused in de discovery and development of new medicines based on the modulation of the adenosine pathways. The of the most well-known Spanish Venture Capital firms, Inverready, Fitalent and Sodena, have invested in the company.
The Spanish Law firm RCD, which is also a company shareholder, assisted Palobiofarma through the deal process.