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Xencor regains commercial rights to cancer antibodies from Novartis

Xencor Inc. will regain the rights to develop and commercialize certain cancer antibodies outside the U.S. from Novartis AG, effective June 20.

Monrovia, Calif.-based Xencor said this follows the Swiss pharmaceutical company's move to reprioritize its strategic pipeline.

In the June 2016 collaboration deal, Xencor and Novartis agreed to jointly develop and commercialize tumor-targeted antibodies — XmAb13676 and XmAb14045 — outside the U.S.

The partnership allowed Xencor to maintain the U.S. commercialization rights for XmAb14045, while Novartis was given the rights to commercialize the antibody in the rest of the world. Additionally, the two companies were to share the development costs for XmAb13676 until 2020.

Xencor also granted Novartis rights to its bispecific technology for the development and commercialization of four additional targets that the Swiss company chooses.

Novartis was to give Xencor clinical, regulatory and sales milestone payments, along with royalties for XmAb14045 sales outside the U.S. and for the worldwide sales of the four proprietary Novartis bispecific molecules.

Xencor will continue developing XmAb13676, CEO and President Bassil Dahiyat said. XmAb13676 is being evaluated in an ongoing early-stage study in patients with B-cell malignancies, a group of diseases including non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, leukemia and myelomas involving the white blood cell known as B lymphocyte. The initial results are expected to be available in 2019.