Two pharmaceutical companies, Illinois-based Baxalta Inc. and Denmark's Symphogen, said Monday they are partnering on a cutting-edge immuno-oncology initiative that could potentially be worth as much as $1.6 billion.
Research teams from Baxalta, which is headquartered in Bannockburn and specializes in the development of therapies for orphan and underserved diseases, and Symphogen will work on novel therapeutics against six checkpoint targets (none of which were disclosed), culminating in clinical studies in 2017.
“This exciting partnership aligns well to Baxalta’s strategy to invest in immuno-oncology and build an innovative portfolio of immunotherapies,” Baxalta Executive Vice President and President of Oncology David Meek said. “With the expertise Symphogen offers in this category and their broad portfolio of early-stage immuno-oncology programs, this collaboration allows us to actively advance one of the most innovative areas of this field. For Baxalta, this is just the beginning of our focus in building world-class capabilities in immuno-oncology.”
Immuno-oncology focuses on activating and directing a patient’s immune system against tumor growth and generation. The field is growing and has produced some therapeutic advances; immunotherapies have been researched as individual treatments and in combination with other therapies.
“Baxalta’s dedication to delivering transformative therapies and its global commercial presence make it an ideal strategic partner for Symphogen, as we complement Baxalta with research and development competencies within the immuno-oncology area,” Symphogen CEO Kirsten Drejer said. “We look forward to providing Baxalta with innovative immuno-oncology product candidates under this broad collaboration.”