Array and Ono hook up on two oncology drugs
- Cancer-focused biotech Array BioPharma has hooked up with Ono Pharmaceutical to collaborate on development of two of its cancer drugs, its MEK inhibitor binimetinib and a BRAF inhibitor encorafenib, in an effort to develop and commercialize the products globally.
- Array will get an upfront payment of ¥3.5 billion ($31.6 million), with up to ¥17.3 billion ($156.0 million) to come in development and commercial milestone payments. Array will also get "robust" tiered, double-digit royalties on sales in Japan and South Korea. In return for paying 12% of future R&D costs, Ono will get the right to collaborate over global R&D. Array holds on to exclusive commercialization rights for binimetinib and encorafenib in the US, Canada and Israel; rights to other countries were granted to Pierre Fabre in 2015.
- Array has seen a 2% uptick on its share price, in contrast with an almost 34% decline over the past three months.
Working with Ono gives Array access to Ono's immuno-oncology expertise, and it knowledge of the Japanese and South Korean markets, much like the deal with Pierre Fabre will gives the biotech a partner outside of North America.
Array BioPharma's approach of combining both BRAF and MEK inhibition could slow the development of resistance, potentially leading to a longer response. Two Phase 3 trials are under way – COLUMBUS (encorafenib in combination with binimetinib in BRAF-mutant melanoma) and BEACON CRC (encorafenib, binimetinib and Eli Lilly & Co.'s Erbitux (cetuximab) in BRAF-mutant colorectal cancer).
"These two compounds have shown promising efficacy and safety in the previous clinical trials and we believe that both compounds can be a new therapeutic option as a combination therapy for patients with BRAF-mutant melanoma, BRAF-mutant colorectal cancer and beyond," said Gyo Sagara, president and CEO of Ono.
The deal with Pierre Fabre is worth up to $455 million in upfront and milestone payments and more in tiered double-digit royalties gave Pierre Fabre exclusive rights to commercialize both products outside the U.S., Canada, Japan, Korea and Israel, including Europe, Asia and Latin America.
- Array BioPharma Statement
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