Apeiron Biologics closed its first transaction in its ongoing initiative to out-license APN311, an antibody-based immunotherapy in development for the treatment of children with high-risk neuroblastoma. Paladin Labs entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Apeiron, under which Canada-based Paladin receives the rights to market and sell APN311 in Canada and Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa.

According to the company, APN311 is the most clinically advanced substance in its development pipeline which is focused on immunologic and biologic therapies against cancer. APN311 is a monoclonal chimeric antibody (ch14.18/CHO) targeting the GD2 antigen on neuroblastoma cells and is currently undergoing a randomized Phase III in Europe.

The deal also marks a milestone in Apeiron’s development strategy to treat neuroblastoma, a strategy that also led it to acquire rights to further develop and commercialize the immunocytokine hu14.18-IL2 from Merck KGaA, Germany in February 2011.

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