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Wilex hands back some cancer drugs as it circles the biotech drain

22/05/2014 by


Germany’s Wilex is emptying its pockets of drug candidates, giving 5 once-promising cancer treatments back to partner UCB as it pares down to stay alive.

The biotech will relinquish its rights to the mid-stage WX-554 and WX-037 and give back three preclinical antibody therapies, terminating a separate, non-oncology development deal with UCB in the process, Wilex said. The company will get a final undisclosed R&D payment from its soon-to-be-ex-collaborator, and UCB has agreed to waive repayment a €2.5 million ($3.4 million) term loan, sparing the cash-strapped Wilex from further loss.

The hand-off is part of a strategic alignment that saw Wilex cut 80% of its staff in January, kicking off a tiered exit from all clinical activity. The plan is sell off or out-license all of its proprietary assets and focus on its revenue-generating Heidelberg Pharma subsidiary, which provides preclinical CRO services and rents out Wilex’s antibody-drug conjugate technology.

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