Immunomedics, a biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on the development of monoclonal antibody-based products for the targeted treatment of cancer, autoimmune and other serious diseases, has received notification from Takeda Pharmaceutical of the termination of the licensing agreement signed between Nycomed and Immunomedics for the worldwide rights to veltuzumab, the humanized anti-CD20 antibody, for all non-cancer indications.
Immunomedics licensed the worldwide rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize veltuzumab, in the subcutaneous formulation, for the treatment of all non-cancer indications to Nycomed in July 2008. Nycomed was acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical in September 2011.
Immunomedics received the notification subsequent to the company's filing of arbitration proceedings in an effort to resolve the dispute with Nycomed concerning delays in the development of veltuzumab, which the company argues is a material breach of the licensing agreement.
All rights to veltuzumab revert to Immunomedics and both companies have begun discussions regarding the transition of veltuzumab. Immunomedics will continue to pursue the arbitration procedure to address its claim for damages due to delays in the development of veltuzumab and expects the arbitration to continue while the product transition takes place.
"I want to emphasize that this transfer of veltuzumab back to us is not due to a lack of efficacy or safety of the antibody but a lack of progress with its development," said Cynthia L. Sullivan, president and CEO of Immunomedics. "We have begun the process of evaluating our options for this antibody."