XOMA Corporation (NASDAQ: XOMA), announced today it has acquired a royalty interest in six clinical-stage assets targeting the adenosine pathway for $10.0 million from Palobiofarma S.L.One of the assets, NIR178, is being developed by Novartis as a novel checkpoint inhibitor for the treatment of solid tumors.Five of the assets are being developed by Palobiofarma.
“We are impressed by Palobiofarma’s expertise in adenosine receptor biology and what they have achieved.It’s unusual today to discover a private company that has three distinct compounds in Phase 2 development and three additional compounds in Phase 1 clinical studies. We are particularly attracted to NIR178, which is being developed by Novartis as a potential novel immuno-oncology agent for the treatment of multiple solid tumors,” said Jim Neal, Chief Executive Officer at XOMA.“Palobiofarma’s portfolio covers all four adenosine receptor sub-types.Among these sub-types, A2AR receptor antagonists are an emerging class of “next-generation” immune checkpoint agents in oncology. In addition, early data suggests adenosine receptor antagonists have potential in indications beyond oncology, including psoriasis and NASH.”
Inveready, the lead investor in the Seed Stage in Palobiofarma, has invested an additional $2.0 million through their specialized venture fund, Inveready Biotech III, for the development of all six clinical – stage assets. “The investment in Palobiofarma is a clear example of how a Spanish biotechnology company is capable of advancing therapies for global markets. It is a privilege for us to be able to continue to support them in this next phase of development” says Roger Pique, General Partner at Inveready.