UK gene-therapy group Oxford BioMedica has received a $1 million milestone payment from Pfizer triggered by the entry of PF-06263507, a 5T4-targeted investigational antibody therapy, into human clinical trials.

The company licensed global rights to develop antibodies targeting the 5T4 tumour antigen for the treatment of cancer to Wyeth back in 2001, which was then bought by Pfizer in 2009.

Under the terms of the deal, Pfizer also has non-exclusive rights for the diagnostic use of 5T4 antibodies, including an option for commercialisation of a 5T4-based diagnostic. 

"The 5T4 tumour antigen is an important target for novel anti-cancer therapeutics and the cancer targeted therapies market represents a significant opportunity," said the UK group's chief John Dawson, commenting on its potential.

Indeed, the collaboration could bring Oxford BioMedica an extra $27 million in future milestone payments and licence option fees that are subject to the achievement of certain project objectives.