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Pfizer in $635 Million Deal

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Pfizer Inc. (PFE) recently entered into a worldwide strategic collaboration agreement with biotech company, CytomX Therapeutics, Inc., for the development and commercialization of a new generation of targeted antibody therapeutics.

The companies will work on the development of Probody-drug conjugates (PDCs). The CytomX’s Probody platform will be used for the development of safer and more effective antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). The aim is to combine cytotoxic agents with masked Probodies that are activated only in the disease microenvironment.

Pfizer will have exclusive rights to develop and commercialize select PDCs. Both companies will conduct preclinical research together with Pfizer assuming responsibility for the development and potential commercialization of any selected PDCs.

The deal, worth $635 million, includes up-front, research reimbursement and preclinical milestone payments of about $25 million and regulatory and sales milestone payments of about $610 million to CytomX. CytomX will also receive tiered double-digit royalties on future sales.

We note that Pfizer has been pretty active on signing deals for early-stage candidates. Earlier this year, the company had announced a worldwide collaboration agreement with biopharma company BIND Therapeutics for the development and commercialization of a new class of highly selective targeted and programmable therapeutics called Accurins.

Under this deal, BIND may receive about $50 million in the form of up-front and development milestone payments and approximately $160 million on the achievement of regulatory and sales milestones along with tiered royalties on future sales.

Pfizer currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The company’s pipeline needs to deliver given the Lipitor loss of exclusivity and the upcoming loss of exclusivity on additional products in the next few years.

At present, companies like Santarus, Inc. (SNTS), Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) and Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP) look well-positioned with all three being Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks.

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