Pfizer Makes Pacts with BMS and Xoma

August 30, 2007
Patricia Van Arnum
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Pfizer (New York) proceeded with two agreements this week: a drug-development deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb (New York) and a license agreement with Xoma (Berkeley, CA) for antibody technology.

New York (Aug. 27–28)-Pfizer proceeded with two agreements this week: a drug-development deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS, New York) and a license agreement with Xoma (Berkeley, CA) for antibody technology. 

In the first deal, Pfizer and BMS finalized an agreement to collaborate on the research, development, and commercialization of DGAT-1 inhibitors, which have potential application for treating metabolic disorders, including obesity and diabetes. Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will be responsible for all research and early-stage development activities for the metabolic disorders program, and the companies will jointly conduct Phase III development and commercialization activities.

Pfizer’s DGAT-1 discovery program includes advanced preclinical compounds and DGAT-1 inhibitors in-licensed by Pfizer from Bayer Pharmaceuticals  (Montville, NJ), including a preclinical compound (PF-04415060 or BAY 74-4113) originally discovered by Bayer.

DGAT-1 (diacylglycerol acyl transferase-1) is an enzyme critical to the creation of triglycerides and fat storage. Overweight and obese individuals have significantly greater triglyceride levels, making them more prone to diabetes and its associated metabolic complications. In animal studies, DGAT-1 inhibitors have been shown to induce weight loss and improve glucose tolerance and lipid levels.

Pfizer signs antibody pact with Xoma

In a separate deal, Xoma licensed to Pfizer nonexclusive, worldwide rights to Xoma’s bacterial cell-expression (BCE) technology. BCE is an enabling technology for antibody phase display discovery and for manufacturing of bacterially expressed antibody products. 

Xoma will receive an upfront $30-million cash payment from Pfizer and milestone, royalty, and other fees on future sales on all products subject to the license.

The BCE technology is licensed to several major pharmaceutical companies, including Merck & Co. Inc. (Whitehouse Station, NJ),  Centocor (Horsham, PA)-and Genentech (South San Francisco, CA). The BCE technology is used to manufacture Genentech’s “Lucentis” (ranibizumab), an antibody fragment to the vascular endothelial growth factor.