Sesen Bio Shares Slide After Pause of U.S. Development of Vicineum >SESN

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By Colin Kellaher

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Shares of Sesen Bio Inc. fell sharply on Monday after the company said it paused US development of its lead asset and ended a 2016 licensing agreement with Roche Holding AG in exchange for an initial $40 million.

The Cambridge, Mass., company said it put US development of Vicineum on hold due to an extended timeline and increased study costs and that it would seek a partner for the potential further development of the drug.

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Sesen, which had previously said it would explore strategic alternatives, also said it agreed to sell all patent rights and know-how related to the monoclonal antibody EBI-031 to Roche for up to $70 million, including $40 million upfront and an additional $30 million if Roche initiates a Phase 3 study before the end of 2026.

The new deal ends the 2016 license agreement with Roche under which Sesen had already received $50 million in upfront and milestone payments and was eligible for up to an additional $220 million in milestone payments, along with royalties on sales.

Sesen said it believes the Roche deal and the associated proceeds increase the range and attractiveness of strategic options it is able to consider.

Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration rejected Sesen’s application seeking approval of Vicineum for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, and the company has since had four meetings with the agency to discuss a path forward for the drug.

Sesen, which had $161.2 million in cash and equivalents at the end of June, said it hopes to complete its strategic review by the end of the year.

Sesen shares were changing hands at 63.3 cents, down about 30%.

Write to Colin Kellaher at [email protected]

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Credit: www.marketwatch.com /

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