UK biotechnology company, Xenova, received a significant boost late last week after it said that it had signed a deal potentially worth as much as £44 million pounds with Oxxon Therapeutics for its gene delivery system to be used in oncology and infectious diseases.

Under the terms of the agreement Oxxon will have the right to use the system – known as DISC-HSV Vector – in a number of specified indications in the areas of oncology and infectious diseases in return for an upfront fee spread over 24 months and milestone payments on the first four products to complete commercialisation. Xenova will also be entitled to receive royalties on future sales of all products derived from the platform.

Oxxon will be able to expand into as yet unspecified indications on the payment of additional fees. The agreement includes global development, manufacturing and marketing rights to an oncology product developed using the platform, which has already successfully completed a Phase I safety study.