AVEO and Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) announced a strategic collaboration for the development and commercialization of AVEO’s novel discovery-stage ErbB3-targeted antibodies for the potential treatment of cancer and other diseases.
- AVEO will receive upfront and milestones
- Biogen will have exercisable option at proof of concept for dev and commercialization rights outside North America
- AVEO retains all US commercialization rights
ErbB3 is a type 1 tyrosine kinase receptor of the EFGR family that is widely expressed in human carcinomas, with demonstrated overexpression – correlated with poor prognosis – in several different tumor types, including breast, ovarian, prostate, colorectal, pancreatic, gastric and head & neck cancers. In vivo studies conducted by AVEO demonstrated that elevated ErbB3 levels can potently drive breast tumor growth and may provide an escape mechanism to Herceptin® treatment. ErbB3 is also implicated in the development of resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors in non small cell lung cancer. AVEO has focused its ErbB3 antibody discovery efforts on identifying high affinity, high specificity antibodies that recognize ErbB3 on the cell surface and inhibit its activity. The market attractiveness of AVEO’s ErbB3 portfolio is bolstered by the success of other EFGR family inhibitors such as erlotinib, gefitinib and transtuzumab, which have unique patterns of resistance that may be addressed by an effective ErbB3 antibody.