EXCLUSIVE: AVEO CEO Explains How New Partnership Will Address $500 Million Opportunity Overseas
• AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVEO) has announced a partnership with EUSA Pharma granting EUSA exclusive European rights to tivozanib.
• The deal could reportedly generate nearly $400 million for AVEO.
• AVEO CEO Michael Bailey told Benzinga that the tivozanib deal is the last piece of the puzzle in AVEO’s 2015 strategy.
Aveo Pharmaceuticals shares are surging more than 29 percent in early trading on Monday following an announcement by the company of a new partnership with EUSA Pharma granting EUSA exclusive European distribution rights for advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) treatment tivozanib.
Following the announcement, Benzinga had the chance to speak with AVEO CEO Michael Bailey about the new deal.
Importance Of The Deal
Bailey told Benzinga that AVEO is primarily focusing most of its efforts on North America and that the company strives to maintain exclusive rights to tivozanib in that critical market. However, global partnerships with companies like EUSA are an important part of unlocking the full value of the drug.
“This deal represents an important milestone for AVEO in the fulfillment of that overall strategy,” Bailey added.
When asked about how tivozanib compares to peer treatments, Bailey explained why AVEO is so optimistic about the drug’s impact in the $500 million-plus European RCC market. He highlighted three characteristics that differentiate tivozanib from other treatments in the market:
1. It is among the most potent small molecule VEGF inhibitors.
2. It has the highest level of specificity of the group.
3. It has a long half-life, which allows for a convenient once-a-day dosing and stable longer-term pharmacokinetics in patients.
“The thing that will probably really distinguish it in the marketplace is its tolerability profile,” Bailey added. “Because of its specificity, tivozanib doesn’t have high levels of a lot of the difficult toxicities that many of the other VEGF inhibitors have, such as fatigue, diarrhea or hand-foot syndrome, which are very, very troubling to patients.”
What’s Ahead For Shareholders In 2016?
Although timelines are always difficult to dictate in the biotech world, Bailey said that AVEO has several major goals in mind for tivozanib 2016.
Milestones shareholders should be watching for in 2016 include European MAA filing for tivozanib by EUSA, a first-line filing and possible approval for tivozanib in Russian by partner Pharmstandard and the initiation of both a new third-line and immunotherapy combination tivozanib RCC study.
“This year was really a turnaround year for AVEO, and we’ve really focused our efforts on trying to extract the most value out of our pipeline, advance the pipeline agents through partnership funding and retain tivozanib rights in North America, where we believe we can create significant value by continuing to develop that compound,” Bailey concluded.
Disclosure: the author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.
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