The Associated Press April 13, 2010, 12:30PM ET

Teva licenses Mersana cancer treatment for $334M

Mersana Therapeutics said Tuesday it licensed an experimental cancer drug to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. in a deal that could be worth more than $334 million.

Teva will handle development of the drug, designated XMT-1107, in all countries except Japan and will have an exclusive license to sell the drug in those countries. Mersana could be paid $334 million if the drug passes through testing and regulatory review and reaches sales milestones. Mersana also will receive royalties on sales if the drug is approved.

Mersana said it plans to start an early stage safety trial of XMT-1107 by the end of June. The drug contains Mersana's drug candidate Fleximer, a polymer that can be linked to small molecules and biotech drugs and improve their effectiveness and safety. The other component of XMT-1107 is a drug derived from a compound called fumagillin. Mersana said fumagillin drugs have shown anti-tumor activity in other clinical trials, but testing was stopped due to safety concerns including reversible damage to the central nervous system.

In midday trading, Teva shares fell 62 cents to $62.55.

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