Mundipharma picks up chemo prodrug in $250M deal
- Mundipharma, a network of affiliated independent biopharma companies, on Monday announced it had acquired global rights to a prodrug formulation of the chemotherapy agent etoposide from German cancer company CellAct Pharma GmbH in a deal valued at over $250 million.
- Specific financials were not disclosed, but CellAct will receive a "double-digit" upfront payment from Mundipharma and is entitled to further milestone payments as well as tiered royalties on any future sales, per a statement from the companies.
- Mundipharma EDO GmbH, a member of the larger Mundipharma network, will lead development of the prodrug through Phase 3 trials. EDO also intends to reformulate the drug to scale up manufacturing.
The prodrug, known as CAP7.1, is designed to treat biliary tract cancer, which is the second most common hepatobiliary cancer after hepatocellular cancer. Mundipharma highlighted the lack of second line treatment options as a rationale behind the deal.
As a prodrug, CAP7.1. is designed to be metabolized into its pharmacologically active form by enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract.
Etoposide, the drug which CAP7.1 is developed from, is a generic chemotherapy that was first approved in the U.S. in 1983. It is currently on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines for treatment of a range of cancers including testicular, lung, ovarian, Ewing sarcoma and some blood cancers.
Interim Phase 2 trial results, unveiled at the American Society for Clinical Oncology meeting in 2016, showed treatment with CAP 7.1 led to a disease control rate of 56%. Estimated one-year survival was 41%, which Mundipharma and CellAct say is roughly double the survival rate that would be expected from current standard of care.
Charite-Universitatsmedizin Berlin, the German university where CAP 7.1 was invented, will also receive tiered royalties and unspecified milestone payments under the deal's terms.
- Mundipharma Press release
Follow Ned Pagliarulo on Twitter