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Oxford BioTherapeutics Licenses Antibody to Sanofi-Aventis for Cancer Drug Development

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Oxford BioTherapeutics announced this week that Sanofi-Aventis has acquired an exclusive worldwide license to one of OBT's preclinical antibody programs.

According to a statement released by OBT, Sanofi-Aventis intends to use the antibody – which is directed against a proprietary target identified by OBT – to develop and commercialize antibody drug conjugate therapies for cancer treatment.

The agreement calls for Sanofi-Aventis to make to OBT an undisclosed upfront cash payment, with OBT eligible for future development, regulatory, and performance milestone payments and royalties on worldwide product sales.

OBT's primary antibody discovery technology is its database of human proteins that it calls the Oxford Genome Anatomy Project, or OGAP. According to the company, OGAP is one of the largest proprietary human cancer cell-surface protein repositories featuring disease protein information "coupled to genetic and clinical data from 50 different human tissues, including 5,000 cancer membrane proteins" and gives "access to information covering 58 disease states."

The deal is OBT's second with a large pharmaceutical company since its founding six years ago. In May 2009 it inked an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline to identify cancer drug targets and develop therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (PM 05/28/2009).

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