Surface Oncology has entered into a broad strategic collaboration with Novartis to develop immunotherapeutics targeting the tumor micro-environment and the interface of innate and adaptive immunity.

Under the terms of the agreement, Surface is eligible to receive up to $170 million 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.

“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 co-commercialize 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.”