Bavarian Nordic Gets Offers to License Cancer Therapy

Bavarian Nordic A/S, the Danish drugmaker developing a prostate cancer treatment, said several companies have proposed licensing the experimental medicine.

Bavarian Nordic received a “mid- to high- single-digit” number of term sheets from prospective partners, Juergen Langhaerig, head of business development, said yesterday in a presentation at a Nordic health-care conference that Oslo-based DnB NOR Markets organized. Term sheets lay out general deal conditions to be hammered out by parties in further talks.

Bavarian’s Prostvac, which needs additional testing before the Kvistgaard, Denmark-based drugmaker can seek regulatory approval, extended cancer patients’ lives by as much as 8.5 months in early trials. That’s more than twice as long as Dendreon Corp.’s Provenge, the first medicine to train the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells. Provenge may generate as much as $1.75 billion in 2014 if the U.S. government agrees to pay for the $93,000 treatment.

Companies that have submitted term sheets are “a mix of international pharmaceutical companies,” Rolf Sass Soerensen, a spokesman for Bavarian, said today. “Some are the largest companies in the world, the top 10, and some are mid-sized, fast-growing companies.”

Share Sale

Bavarian Nordic this week raised 205 million kroner ($36 million) that the company said would enable it to negotiate a better deal for Prostvac. The drugmaker sold 1.05 million new shares at 195 kroner each in a private placement.

Bavarian rose 13 kroner, or 5.9 percent, in Copenhagen trading to 235 kroner, the highest price since Aug. 6. The stock has climbed 69 percent in the past 12 months.

Prior to the share sale, the drugmaker had expected to end the year with 250 million kroner in cash, including a 100 million-kroner credit facility. Expenditures for the first quarter of 2011 were forecast at 200 million kroner.

“We now have the strength not to be squeezed in our discussions,” Soerensen said.

Bavarian wants a partner with strong global distribution and marketing power, co-promotion rights in some big markets, and “the correct financial terms,” he said. The company is considering funding part of the third and last trial needed to gain regulatory approval, he said.

The research is scheduled to begin next year. U.S. regulators are expected to approve its structure “relatively soon,” Soerensen said. “That will be the last regulatory hurdle in the process toward phase 3,” he said.

The drugmaker received fast-track designation in April from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the vaccine’s use in men whose cancer is worsening despite treatment.

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Frances Schwartzkopff at fschwartzko1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net

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