Swiss pharma giant Roche and US precision therapy company Blueprint Medicines have entered into a worldwide licensing and collaboration deal potentially worth up to $1.703 billion for the latter’s cancer drug candidate pralsetinib.
Through the deal, Roche gains exclusive rights for the co-development and marketing of the investigational drug for RET-altered cancers across the world with the exception of the US and Greater China – including Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau. In the US, Genentech, a subsidiary of Roche will be given the co-commercialization rights to the cancer drug candidate.
Under the deal terms, Blueprint Medicines will get an upfront amount of $675 million plus an equity investment of $100 million from the Swiss pharma giant. Apart from that, the US precision therapy company can potentially get payments up to $927 million subject to the meeting of certain on development, regulatory and sales-based milestones along with royalties on net product sales of pralsetinib outside the US.
The global development expenses will be shared by Roche and Blueprint Medicines based on pre-specified cost-sharing percentages while profits and losses pertaining to the cancer drug candidate in the US will be shared equally.
Jeff Albers – CEO of Blueprint Medicines said: “With Roche’s global reach and unparalleled expertise in personalised healthcare, this collaboration will accelerate our ability to bring pralsetinib to patients with significant medical needs around the world and expand development of pralsetinib across multiple treatment settings where there is potential to benefit even broader patient populations.”
Currently, the once-daily oral precision therapy candidate is in late-stage development for the treatment of RET-altered non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), and other types of thyroid cancer, and other solid tumors as well. Apart from that, pralsetinib has been shown to have tumor-agnostic potential, said Roche.
The two pharma companies also intend to expand pralsetinib’s development in various treatment settings besides pursuing the development of a next-generation RET inhibitor under their collaboration.
As per preclinical data, pralsetinib has been shown to have effectively inhibited primary RET fusions and mutations causing cancer in subsets of patients, and also secondary RET mutations that are thought to drive resistance to the cancer treatment.
According to Roche, RET-activating fusions and mutations are major disease drivers in several cancer types, including non-small cell lung cancer and medullary thyroid cancer, and treatment options that precisely target these genetic alterations are very less.
James Sabry – Head of Roche Pharma Partnering said: “We are very excited to enter into this collaboration with Blueprint Medicines, a partner we have already been working with for four years, with the goal of bringing a potentially transformative treatment option to patients with rare RET-altered cancers as quickly as possible. In bringing pralsetinib to patients, we will leverage our global reach and expertise in oncology, as well as our capabilities in diagnostics and the use of real-world data toward our aim of providing personalised treatments for patients.”