Novartis and Xencor enter into bispecific antibody agreement

Swiss drugmaker Novartis' logo is seen behind scaffolding at the company's plant in the northern Swiss town of Stein in this January 27, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/Files

ZURICH (Reuters) - Novartis has received rights with Xencor to develop bispecific antibodies for treating cancer.

“Under the terms of the agreement, Xencor is receiving a $150 million upfront payment from Novartis and the two companies will equally share the cost to jointly develop two Xencor antibodies targeting the CD3 domain,” Novartis said.

Novartis would additionally receive rights to develop and commercialize four further bispecific antibodies and to use Xencor’s antibody technology in up to 10 additional molecules, the companies said.

While Xencor would retain full commercial rights in the United States, Novartis would receive commercial rights outside the United States.

Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Stephen Coates