Thu, Jan 04, 2018 - Page 12 News List

ASLAN gets global rights to develop tumor drug

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

ASLAN Pharmaceuticals Ltd (亞獅康) yesterday announced that US-based Array BioPharma Inc has granted the company full global rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize varlitinib, an inhibitor that helps control tumor growth which is being developed for a variety of cancer types.

The new agreement replaces a pact signed in 2011 that granted ASLAN the rights to develop varlitinib through proof of concept, as well as seeking a partner to complete phase III clinical trials and commercialization approval processes, the Singaporean company said.

Vartlitinib has demonstrated strong efficacy in the studies since 2011 in biliary tract, gastric, breast and colorectal cancer, ASLAN chief executive officer Carl Firth said in a statement.

“We want to take the drug to the market and commercialize it ourselves in certain regions, which was not contemplated under the original agreement,” Firth said.

The new agreement allows the company to retain much more downstream value from the firm’s commercial and partnering activities, he said.

Array is eligible to receive 50 percent of all varlitinib revenue, which was unchanged from the previous agreement, an investor relations officer at ASLAN said, adding that the company now has the freedom to decide whether to enlist partners or pursue commercialization in-house on a market-by-market basis.

Under the new agreement, ASLAN will make an upfront payment of US$12 million to Array on signature and a payment of up to US$12 million within the next year.

The company has also agreed to pay up to US$30 million in development and US$75 million in commercial milestones for varlitinib, as well as royalties as a percentage in the low double digits of net sales of the drug.

The US Food and Drug Administration offered the orphan drug designation to varlitinib as a treatment for cholangiocarcinoma in 2015 and gastric cancer in 2016, the company said.

Shares in ASLAN yesterday fell 0.15 percent to close at NT$33.65 on the Taipei Exchange.

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