Japanese pharma snaps up cancer biotech Tolero
- Japanese pharmaco Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma has picked up oncology and hematology biotech Tolero Pharmaceuticals for up to $780 million. This includes, with an upfront payment of $200 million, development milestones of up to $430 million, and commercial payments of up to $150 million.
- Tolero will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma in a deal that closes in February 2017.
- Tolero's lead compound, alvocodib, is likely to be submitted for approval in the U.S. for acute myeloid leukemia during 2018 at the earliest.
Tolero Pharmaceuticals will bring a pipeline of potential therapeutics for oncology and hematology to Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, along with drug discovery technology. The acquisition will also support the Japanese pharma's existing profile of orphan drugs.
"As Tolero possesses a group of attractive development compounds, including alvocidib, we expect that this acquisition will help us to reinforce our oncology pipeline and achieve sustained growth of the Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Group after the expiry of the exclusivity period of our mainstay atypical antipsychotic Latuda," said Masayo Tada, representative director, president and CEO of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma.
"Now that Tolero’s high drug discovery abilities are on our side, we also expect to create a continuous flow of development compounds going forward," he added.
Alvocodib is a CDK9 inhibitor with a completed Phase 2 study for acute myeloid leukemia, and an ongoing study in biomarker-positive AML patients. Originally licensed from Sanofi, alvocodib has orphan drug designation in the U.S. and Europe for the treatment of AML. Sanofi will receive commercialization milestones and tiered royalties on sales following launch. Other drugs in Tolero's pipeline include TP-0903, an AXL kinase inhibitor in phase 1 for solid tumors, and TP-0184, in preclinical studies for anemia of chronic disease.
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