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PFIZER EXTENDING ONCOGENE SCIENCE CANCER DRUG R&D PACT

Executive Summary

PFIZER EXTENDING ONCOGENE SCIENCE CANCER DRUG R&D PACT through 1995, the companies announced in a joint Dec. 17 press release. "As a result of this renewal, Oncogene Science will receive a total of $16 mil. in research funding over five years plus royalty payments from resulting products," the release states. "The extended collaboration will involve the continuation of existing research and development work as well as the exploration of new technologies." The move continues Pfizer's involvement in the Manhasset, New York-based Oncogene Sciences, which began with a five-year, $12 mil. deal in 1986 ("The Pink Sheet" March 10, 1986, T&G-5). At that time, Pfizer made a nearly $3 mil., or 5.5%, equity investment for 487,500 shares of Oncogene, with an option to purchase another 1 mil., or up to 18% of the company. Pfizer's current equity position in Oncogene is 6.3%. In addition, Pfizer agreed to fund construction of a 45,000 sq. ft. lab building, to be leased to Oncogene for a renewable period of 10 years. The R&D collaboration covers four areas: drugs treating secondary resistance to chemotherapy, the first of which are expected to enter clinicals in the next 12-18 months; drugs that prevent cancer by inactivating cancer-causing proteins encoded by oncogenes; the use of the proprietary protein transforming growth factor (TGF)B-3 to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy; and the development of cancer drugs using tumor suppressor genes, a recently discovered class of gene. A joint eight-member coordinating committee will manage the research, with each company having equal representation. However, the release notes that "a much higher level of Pfizer participation is anticipated as specific drug candidates progress from the pre-clinical to clinical stages of development." While products emerging from the collaboration will be jointly owned by the two firms, Pfizer will have exclusive worldwide marketing rights as well as manufacturing rights. Pfizer has an early-out date: the firm may elect to terminate the agreement at the end of three years.

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