Facet Biotech, Trubion in $196 million cancer drug deal

US biotechnology firms Facet Biotech Corporation (Facet) and Trubion Pharmaceuticals Inc (Trubion) entered into an agreement on Friday for the joint worldwide development and commercialisation of TRU-016, a drug for blood cancer.

The drug is a first-in-class B-cell (white blood cell that play a larger role in the human immune system) directed therapy for patients with B-cell malignancies, and patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases like leukemia. The drug is in phase 1 clinical development for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Under the collaboration agreement, Facet will pay up to $176.5 million to Trubion based on certain development, regulatory and sales milestones apart from an upfront payment of $20 million.

Both the companies agreed to share equally the costs of all development, commercialisation and promotional activities and all global operating profits. Facet will also purchase approximately 2.24 million newly issued shares of Trubion for $10 million. 

Facet president and CEO, Faheem Hasnain said, "TRU-016 is a promising therapeutic with impressive preclinical and preliminary clinical data for CLL that will greatly enhance our pipeline and support a key strategic objective, which is to build a robust oncology portfolio."

Seattle-based Trubion is a biopharmaceutical development-stage company that is creating a pipeline of novel protein therapeutic products to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and cancer.