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With Pierre Fabre Deal, Cellectar Shifts Strategy Under New CEO

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nanoparticles that help drugs find their way to their targets more precisely. Bind Therapeutics (NASDAQ: BIND) and Cerulean Pharma (NASDAQ: CERU) have reached phase 2 clinical trials with their leading drug candidates. Perhaps the most successful example in the field is Abraxis BioScience, which was acquired by Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) in 2010 for nearly $3 billion for its new formulation of old cancer drug paclitaxel, branded as Abraxane.

Cellectar could have a high bar, then, to prove that drugs delivered to tumors via its phospholipid ether analogs are more effective and safer for patients than the original version of those drugs. It could also be competing against other types of cancer drug delivery technology.

If Cellectar’s R&D partnerships with Pierre Fabre and others go well, the plan is to become a platform technology company. That means drug developers would license Cellectar’s phospholipid ether technology, combine it with their own therapeutics, and fund clinical trials. In this scenario, Cellectar would receive an up-front fee, milestone payments as the drugs make their way through trials, and royalties if the treatments get approved, Caruso said.

“Ultimately, we want to turn into a collaboration machine where there’s minimal risk” to Cellectar shareholders, Caruso said.

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