Transaction Case Studies

SELL-SIDE ENGAGEMENT LEADING TO OPTION AGREEMENT FOR GREATER CHINESE RIGHTS TO A RAS PEPTIDE CANCER VACCINE 

Situation Assessment

  • Targovax is a clinical stage immuno-oncology company developing cancer vaccines and oncolytic viruses to target hard-to-treat solid tumors
  • Targovax’ TG vaccine is a multiple antigen peptide mix designed to induce T-cell responses to RAS driver mutations, covering ~99% of all codon 12 and 13 RAS mutations and all three isoforms
  • Despite encouraging data from the phase I/II vaccine trial, the company announced a strategic shift to dedicate all its resources to the ONCOS oncolytic virus program in May 

Key Activities

  • Prepared high-impact marketing materials (teasers and management presentations) to emphasize differentiated advantages of the TG program and potential pan-RAS efficacy
  • Conducted a comprehensive, targeted, and global outreach campaign to over 90 strategic partners with a focus on immuno-oncology focused players
  • Provided strategic advice on deal structure, term sheet, and final agreement negotiations. Locust Walk suggested an option structure to match IOVaxis and Targovax’ desired aims of cIND certainty and financial commitment
  • Conducted a comprehensive analysis of the terms as compared to value based on a risked NAV using high level commercial analysis and as compared to similar Chinese deals
  • Worked extensively in tandem with their BD team and CEO to drive deal across the finish line

Successful Outcome

  • Option deal included a $250K option fee, $3M option exercise fee (deferred upfront), and up to $100M in milestones plus tiered royalties on net sales up to mid-double digits
  • IOVaxis is a leading pioneer in neoantigen cancer vaccine development in China
  • Deal breathes life into a de-prioritized program, enables Targovax to continue building a robust data package for their RAS vaccine program, and possibly find a global partner 

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