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AVEO Regains AV-203 Rights from Biogen

Zacks Equity Research

AVEO Oncology (AVEO) recently announced that it has regained worldwide rights of candidate AV-203 from Biogen Idec (BIIB).

We note that AVEO was developing oncology candidate AV-203 in collaboration with Biogen which had an option to develop the candidate outside the United States. The collaboration dates back to 2009 whereby AVEO retained the exclusive rights to commercialize AV-203 in North America.

AVEO completed a phase I safety study on AV-203 in May 2013.  AVEO expects to report results from the phase I study at a scientific meeting later in 2014.

Under the terms of the amended agreement, Biogen renounced its rights to develop and commercialize AV-203 outside North America.

AVEO has several other candidates in its pipeline including ficlatuzumab (phase II – first line non-small cell lung cancer), AV-380 (first human trial planned for the second half of 2015 – cancer cachexia) and tivozanib.  

We note that AVEO and partner Astellas Pharma, Inc. (ALPMY) announced their decision to terminate their agreement for the development and commercialization of oncology candidate, tivozanib in Feb 2014. The worldwide collaboration and license agreement, which dates back to 2011, will come to an end on Aug 11, 2014, with full rights to tivozanib going back to AVEO.

AVEO is now actively looking for a partner to support the development of AV-203, ficlatuzumab and tivozanib. We expect investor focus on the company’s ability to secure a lucrative partnership deal for its various candidates.
AVEO carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock is Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN) carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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