Belgium’s ThromboGenics and Sweden's BioInvent have received a payment from Swiss major Roche as part of the firms’ collaboration to develop the anti-cancer drug TB-403.

Roche has paid out 5 million euros to the two companies, a payment which has been triggered by the successful transfer of technology and process development to the Basel-based giant in the clinical progression of TB-403, a monoclonal antibody which blocks placental growth factor.

Under the terms of the original agreement signed in June last year, Roche is responsible for all the developments costs for TB-403, including the completion of a Phase Ib trial currently being run by ThromboGenics and BioInvent. The deal saw the two firms receive an initial upfront payment of 50 million euros and they could get up to 450 million euros more, plus double-digit royalties on future sales. ThromboGenics, which discovered TB-403, receives 60% and BioInvent 40% of any revenues received.

Patrik De Haes, ThromboGenics’ chief executive, said “the fact that we have been able to achieve the goal that has triggered this payment from Roche so quickly highlights the excellent working relationship that has developed between all parties in this important strategic alliance”. He added that the two partners looking forward to assisting Roche “in paving the way for the broader clinical development programme with this unique anti-cancer agent.”