Pfenex Earns $15-Million Development Milestone Under its Development & License Agreement

Pfenex Inc. recently announced it has earned a $15-million development milestone under its development and license agreement with Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc. The milestone is associated with process development activities for PF745, a long-acting Erwinia asparaginase.

“We are very pleased with the rapid progression of the PF745 program, 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. “Additionally, we are excited about Jazz’s recent announcement that the lead product in our partnership, PF743 (JZP-458), is expected to begin recruiting patients into the pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical study as early as this month.”

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 milestones, of which $162.5 million is still eligible to be received by Pfenex, including up to $3.5 million for development milestones, $34 million in regulatory milestones, and $125 million in sales milestones.  Pfenex may also be eligible to receive tiered royalties based on worldwide sales of any products resulting from the collaboration.

Pfenex is a development and licensing biotechnology company focused on leveraging its Pfēnex 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, and vaccines. Pfenex’s lead product candidate is PF708, a therapeutic equivalent candidate to Forteo (teriparatide injection). PF708 has been approved in the US for the treatment of osteoporosis in certain patients at high risk of fracture, and marketing authorization applications are pending in other jurisdictions. In addition, Pfenex is developing hematology/oncology products in collaboration with Jazz Pharmaceuticals, including PF743, a recombinant crisantaspase, and PF745, a recombinant crisantaspase with half-life extension technology. Pfenex also uses its Pfēnex Expression Technology platform to produce CRM197, a diphtheria toxoid carrier protein used in prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines.

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