Pfizer has laid $25 million on the table for rights to Gliknik's preclinical experimental drug GL-2045, which is in development for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer.

The recombinant stradomer is designed to replace and improve on pooled human intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), which is used to boost the immune system.

GL-2045 has shown promising results across a broad range of preclinical tests, and is being developed as a potential treatment for a wide variety of autoimmune diseases, including those in which IVIG is clinically used, Gliknik said.

"Pooled IVIG has a long history of use but has a number of limitations," said Jose Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, group senior vice president and head of Biotherapeutics R&D at Pfizer, explaining the firm's interest in the deal. "We are pleased to partner with Gliknik on this novel therapeutic approach which may provide an important new option in managing debilitating autoimmune diseases.”

Under the terms, the US drug giant will acquire an exclusive global license for the candidate in all therapeutic indications.

In return, the tiny, privately-held, US biopharmaceutical group stands to receive (undisclosed) development, regulatory and commercial milestones, as well as tiered, double-digit royalties on sales of any products that make it to market.