- Janssen, a division of Johnson & Johnson, will pay up to $450 million for the rights to develop Waltham, MA-based Tesaro's prostate cancer drug niraparib. The drug is part of a class of drugs known as PARP inhibitors, and is currently in Phase 3 trials for ovarian and breast cancers.
- Under the terms of the licensing agreement, Janssen will pay $35 million upfront with clinical and sales milestones of up to $415 million. Additionally, Johnson and Johnson Innovation will invest $50 million in Tesaro stock.
- Tesaro will retain rights for all other indications other than prostate cancer, while Janssen will move forward with development and commercialization in that therapeutic space.
According to the NIH, prostate cancer currently affects roughly 2.8 million men. It is the third-most common cancer in the US and will affect 14% of men at some point in their lives.
Janssen already has another drug on the market, Zytiga (abiretone), for treatment of the cancer. Zytiga was approved in the US in 2011 and the EU in 2012 for treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) after before and after chemotherapy
But Zytiga faces head-to-head competition from Medivation's Xtandi (enzalutamide), which has the same indications. Although Zytiga still has an edge over Xtandi, the market has become more competitive.
Janssen is developing niraparib to be used as monotherapy or in combination with other agents and through it maintain its strength in the prostate cancer market.
Decision Resources predicts that the prostate cancer market will be worth more than $9 billion in 2021.