BETting early

Why Index-led syndicate favored quicker exit for cancer play Oncoethix

Index Ventures-backed oncology play Oncoethix S.A. traded potentially larger returns for a faster clinical program for the company's primary asset when the Phase II program became too big for the small biotech to handle.

On Dec. 18, Merck & Co. Inc. agreed to acquire the Swiss company for $110 million up front. Oncoethix's shareholders are eligible for up to $265 million in clinical and regulatory milestones.

The driver of the takeout was OTX015, a synthetic small molecule inhibitor of BET bromodomain containing 2 (BRD2), BRD3 and BRD4. Index identified the molecule as a candidate for Oncoethix, which licensed it from Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. outside of certain Asian

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