Celldex Shares Tank as Pfizer Terminates Partnership to Develop Brain Cancer Vaccine
Pfizer Vaccines and Celldex entered into a global development and commercialization agreement in April 2008. Celldex was going to get some $440 million from Pfizer, plus royalties, if the vaccine made it to market. But Pfizer has now informed Celldex that the rindopepimut program is no longer a strategic priority for the world's largest pharmaceutical.
That's despite, according to Celldex, the fact that in three mid-stage clinical studies rindopepimut has met or exceeded all pre-determined safety and efficacy objectives. The treatment targets the tumor-specific molecule epidermal growth factor receptor variant III in patients with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) -- a common and aggressive brain tumor. The vaccine is designed to get the body's immune response to fight off the tumor.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tom Davis added that "Rindopepimut is widely perceived by clinicians as one of the most promising non-toxic drug candidates for a patient population that has very limited treatment options."
Rindopepimut has been studied in three open-label Phase 2 clinical studies in more than 110 patients. Results from the studies showed rindopepimut demonstrated significant improvements in key measures, including overall survival. Celldex, which has four other drug candidates that are in early to mid-stage studies, said it expects to present new data from a recent rindopepimut study in late November.