February 17, 2021
Nektar to receive up to $150 million in development funding through a novel financing collaboration agreement
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Nektar Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NKTR), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapies for cancer and auto-immune disease, today announced a financing and co-development collaboration with SFJ Pharmaceuticals to support the development of Bempegaldesleukin (BEMPEG), an investigational CD122-preferential IL-2–pathway agonist. SFJ Pharmaceuticals is a global drug development company backed by Abingworth and Blackstone Life Sciences.
The collaboration between SFJ and Nektar will support a new Phase 2/3 registrational clinical study of BEMPEG plus pembrolizumab in patients with head and neck cancer whose tumors express PD-L1 (Combined Positive Score [CPS] ≥1). Under the terms of the agreement, SFJ has agreed to fund up to $150 million to support the study and manage clinical trial operations. Nektar will serve as the sponsor of the Phase 2/3 study.
“This innovative collaboration with SFJ provides Nektar with substantial non-dilutive funding to broaden the registrational program for BEMPEG,” said Howard Robin, President and CEO of Nektar Therapeutics. “SFJ’s global drug development and clinical trial management expertise, coupled with a track record of success in accelerating and advancing late-stage development programs for global pharmaceutical companies, make them an ideal
Under the terms of the new agreement, SFJ will fund up to $150 million for the Phase 2/3 study until its completion. In return, Nektar agrees to pay SFJ success-based annual milestone payments over a period of seven to eight years, which are contingent upon receipt of certain U.S. regulatory approvals for specified indications for BEMPEG and will begin following completion of the head and neck study that is projected to be in 2024. If BEMPEG does not receive regulatory approval for one or more of the specified indications, Nektar will not owe any future payments linked to an indication that is not approved.