Pfenex Earns $11-Million Development Milestone

Pfenex Inc. recently announced it has earned an $11-million development milestone under its development and license agreement with Jazz Pharmaceuticals. The milestone is associated with process development activities for PF745, a recombinant crisantaspase with half-life extension technology.

“We are very pleased with our progress on PF745 and we believe the Jazz collaboration overall further validates the versatility of our proprietary protein expression platform and the quality of our development capabilities,” said Eef Schimmelpennink, Chief Executive Officer of Pfenex. “Similarly, we are appreciative of the progress recently reported by Jazz on PF743 (JZP-458) with the completion of the Phase 1 study and announcement of plans to initiate a Phase 2/3 study later in 2019.”

Under the terms of the development and license agreement, Pfenex is eligible to receive an aggregate total of up to $224.5 million in development and sales milestone fees, of which $177.5 million is still eligible to be received by Pfenex. Of this $177.5 million, $18.5 million are development milestones, $34 million are regulatory milestones, and $125 million are sales milestones. Pfenex may also be eligible to receive tiered royalties on worldwide sales of any products resulting from the collaboration.

Pfenex is a clinical-stage development and licensing biotechnology company focused on leveraging its Pfenex Expression Technology to develop and improve protein therapies for unmet patient needs. Using the patented Pfēnex Expression Technology platform, Pfenex has created an advanced pipeline of potential therapeutic equivalents, vaccines, biologics and biosimilars. Pfenex’s lead product candidate is PF708, a therapeutic equivalent candidate to Forteo (teriparatide) for the treatment of osteoporosis. In addition, Pfenex is developing hematology/oncology products, including PF743, a recombinant crisantaspase, and PF745, a recombinant crisantaspase with half-life extension technology, in collaboration with Jazz Pharmaceuticals. Pfenex also uses its Pfēnex Expression Technology platform to produce CRM197, a diphtheria toxoid carrier protein used in prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines.