Eligible for $170 Million in Near‐Term Payments
Cambridge, Massachusetts ‐‐ January 11, 2016 ‐‐ Surface Oncology (Surface), a leader in the development of next‐generation cancer immunotherapies, has entered into a broad strategic collaboration with Novartis to develop immunotherapeutics targeting the tumor microenvironment and the interface of innate and adaptive immunity. “This strategic collaboration reflects our shared commitment to innovation in cancer immunotherapy beyond checkpoint inhibitors,” said Detlev Biniszkiewicz, CEO of Surface. Biniszkiewicz added “It fuels our pipeline, provides the option to co‐develop and cocommercialize half of the partnership programs, and allows us to further build value as an independent company as we also pursue new programs outside of the collaboration.” Under the terms of the agreement, Surface is eligible to receive up to $170M in upfront, equity, and near‐term milestone payments. Novartis will gain exclusive access to Surface’s current pipeline of novel cancer immunotherapies, including an exclusive worldwide license to its leading program and options to license up to three additional programs from the existing portfolio, exercisable at IND. Surface is eligible to receive clinical and commercial milestones and up to double‐digit royalties on product sales. Surface also has the option to retain U.S. development and commercialization rights for at least half of the collaboration’s programs. Mark C. Fishman, M.D., President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, commented, “We are very excited to enter into this collaboration with Surface. This alliance is another building block in our strategy to develop a portfolio of programs that we believe will
lead the next wave of immuno‐oncology medicines.”
Surface is creating the next generation of immunotherapies for cancer. To fully unlock the potential of cancer immunotherapy, Surface is targeting a broader set of immune processes by which cancer cells evade immune recognition and attack. Our programs are built upon emerging, proprietary insights about how to improve the immune system’s recognition and elimination of cancer cells. These include new approaches to improve the effectiveness of antigen presentation to the adaptive immune system, to block the activity of a variety of suppressor cells in the tumor microenvironment, and to counter the immunosuppressive environment that selectively accumulates in and around the tumor. By targeting the interface of innate and adaptive immunity, Surface hopes to expand the reach of cancer immunotherapy to all patients in need of better treatment. The company was founded by Atlas Venture in 2014. Current investors in the company include Atlas Venture, F‐Prime Capital, Lilly Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA), as well as Novartis, Amgen Ventures, and Elliott Sigal, the former head of R&D at Bristol‐Myers.