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Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) will spend up to $680 million to partner with Oxford BioMedica [OXB.L] on its cancer vaccine, TroVax.

The therapeutic vaccine, which is aimed at solid tumors, is in a Phase III trial against renal cancer. Sanofi-Aventis will pay 29 million euros upfront, as well as 19 million euros for milestones in the current Phase III trial. Altogether, including support for trials, Sanofi-Aventis will pay as much as 518 million euros or $680 million.

The two companies will share costs for the current trial, and Sanofi-Aventis will underwrite future work. Oxford BioMedica may choose to help market the drug in the U.S. and the E.U. The next step will be to adapt TroVax to treat metastatic colorectal cancer. Sanofi-Aventis slipped 19 cents to $42.93, but Oxford BioMedica fell a larger amount, dropping $2.50 to end at $49.50.

Arena (ARNA) sold its headquarters buildings in San Diego for $50 million to BioMed Realty, LP in a sale-leaseback transaction. Included in the purchase is an option to buy adjoining properties. Arena said that if they make certain improvements to the property, the price could be raised up to $16 million more. Arena already had $389 million in cash, at 2006 year end, which works out to $6.93 per share. Arena moved 80 cents higher to $10.78.

Merck (MRK) and Lundbeck A/S will end their collaboration that was seeking to develop a new sedative drug, gaboxadol. The drug recently failed a Phase III trial.

Pfizer (PFE) put PF-03187207 into a Phase I trial for glaucoma. The initiation of the trial triggered a 1 million euro payment to NicOx of France (OTCPK:NICXF). The two companies have been collaborating on the drug since August 2004. The compound is a nitric oxide-donating prostaglandin F2-alpha analog that is aimed at reducing intraocular pressure.

Penwest Pharma (PPCO) will collaborate with Pharmaceutics International Inc (PPI) in an arrangement under which PII will conduct formulation work for Penwest and other companies to develop drugs that use Penwest's three proprietary oral drug delivery technologies. Penwest said the arrangement will allow it to develop other collaborations, while it focuses on treatments for nervous system disorders.

Pharmacopeia (PCOP) will receive a $1 million milestone from Schering-Plough (SGP) upon the beginning of Phase I trial of PS286113. The compound, which was discovered in a collaboration between the two companies, is aimed at inflammatory diseases.

EndoCeutics (ENCX), a Canadian company developing hormone therapies for treatment and prevention of breast cancer and endocrine-related disorders, set the terms for its upcoming IPO. EndoCeutics will offer 5.75 million shares in an $11-$13 range, which values the company at $219 million.

Genetech (DNA) will invest $140 million to build a plant in Singapore that will make cancer drugs, including Lucentis for wet AMD or blindness. The plant will employ 100 people. Genentech already has an option on a plant in Singapore, owned by a Swiss firm, Lonza. Construction will begin in the Q2 of 2007 and completion will be in 2010.

United Therapeutics (UTHR) out-licensed the Japanese rights for Remodulin Injection to Mochida Pharma. Remodulin is indicated for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. United Therapeutics and Mochida will work together to get Remodulin approved in Japan.

Biotech was lower for the entire session on Wednesday. The Centient Biotech 200™ closed with a loss of 17 points at 3850, a .45% drop. The S&P 500 was lower by .87% and Nasdaq was off .83%.


Disclosure: none.

Source: Biotech Day In Review: Sanofi-Aventis Lands Cancer Vaccine For $680 Million