Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) and CytomX Therapeutics Inc. (CTMX) agreed to extend their 2014 cancer drug partnership to develop treatments that will include up to eight additional targets using CytomX's proprietary Probody platform. (See also, Bristol-Myers, Nitto Ink NASH, Fibrosis Deal.)

CytomX will receive a $200 million upfront payment and will also get research funding. In exchange, Bristol-Myers Squibb will secure exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize Probody therapeutics of Cytomx therapeutics’ eight more candidates, including six oncology targets and two non-oncology targets in other therapeutic areas.

Milestone Payments Could Top $448M

Under the deal, Cytomx will be able to receive up to $448 million tied to future development, regulatory and sales milestones for each collaboration target. Cytomx will also remain eligible to receive tiered royalties on the net sales of each product, which will be commercialized by Bristol-Myers Squibb. The royalty percentage will range from the mid-single digits to low-double digits. (See also, Roche, Bristol-Myers Battle for Cancer Drug Dominance.)

"This expanded collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb gives CytomX the opportunity to further the reach of our potentially transformational Probody technology and provides us with additional financial and strategic flexibility to build our company," said CytomX CEO Sean McCarthy.

Following the deal announcement, shares of Cytomx therapeutics jumped 35% during pre-market hours, and were trading at $19.00 per share Monday morning. (See also, Bristol-Myers, Innate's Lirilumab Fails Trial.)

CytomX’s Probody therapeutics are designed to selectively bind to the cancerous tumors, and not to the healthy tissues of the body, a mechanism which helps in minimizing the toxicity, improving targeted delivery, and helping in creating safer and highly effective treatments for cancer.

The initial 2014 collaboration covered four oncology targets. That includes CTLA-4, which has advanced to Investigational New Drug (IND)-enabling studies, along with three other programs which are in the lead discovery and optimization stage.

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