Before the Italian Ambassador to Washington, Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, the current Chairman of Nerviano Medical Sciences, Alberto Sciumè, and John DeYoung, Vice President Oncology Business Development for Pfizer, an agreement has been signed to renegotiate the relationship between the Italian Research Centre and the US pharmaceutical giant.
The agreement reached concerns the License Agreement entered into in 2004, and specifically the ‘Right of First Refusal’ giving Pfizer pre-emption rights over the results of research carried out at the Nerviano Centre.
In 2004, as part of Pfizer’s efforts to streamline its global R&D structure, the company transferred its Nerviano, Italy research and development site solely devoted to oncology research to Congregazione dei Figli dell’Immacolata Concezione (CIFC), which still owns the Centre today.
At this time, Pfizer seeded Nerviano Medical Sciences with 200 million Euro and requested that CFIC maintain the scientific and drug development at the site which continues to be a centre of excellence in Italian biotech research today. As part of the agreement with CFIC, Pfizer maintained a ‘Right of First Refusal’ to develop compounds discovered at the site.
The new restructured arrangement between the parties involves the consensual termination of the obligations regarding the use of the kinase platform, and the definitive elimination of the ‘Right of First Refusal’. This means that, as of today, the Nerviano Medical Sciences Research Centre is free to operate on international markets in a higher competitiveness.
Among the other matters governed by this agreement – which is one of the key points in the Plan developed by the new management to rescue and relaunch Nerviano Medical Sciences – is the awarding to Nerviano Medical Sciences of the perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty free licence (including the right of sub-licence) on all the know-how of the Centre.
The agreement also provides that patents currently with the Centre and owned by Pfizer are in part transferred and in part licensed to Nerviano Medical Sciences, in exchange for royalties on the income generated by their use.
Following the corporate restructuring and reorganization of the Centre and the agreement recently signed with the Lombardia Region (which has financed € 15 million over a three year period in order to boost synergies between Nerviano Medical Sciences and the Lombardy Oncology Network), the agreement formalized with Pfizer represents the third and fundamental goal of the Strategic Relaunch Plan achieved by the Nerviano management team in the space of only a few months.