Antisoma signed an exclusive global licensing agreement with Novartis for its anticancer candidate. Vascular disrupting agent AS1404 is currently in Phase III evaluation for lung cancer and Phase II trials for breast and ovarian cancer.
Antisoma will be eligible for total upfront, development, regulatory, and sales-related milestone payments of up to $890 million. Payment is contingent on successful development and marketing of AS1404 in multiple indications, launch of back-up products in multiple indications, and achievement of sales milestones. The company will receive $75 million immediately and $25 million when the compound enters a Phase III trial in lung cancer.
If AS1404 is approved and commercialized, Antisoma will receive royalties on sales and has the ability to co-commercialize the product in the U.S.
Novartis will fund and conduct all future development of AS1404. It will also fund the outstanding costs of the Phase II trials currently being completed by Antisoma. The agreement also includes the potential for Novartis to fund certain of Antisoma's commercialization costs.
Novartis plans to initiate a Phase III study in squamous non-small-cell-lung cancer early in 2008. It expects to conduct supporting studies in lung and other cancers. The company will also carry out Phase III trials in prostate and ovarian cancers if final results from Phase II trials in these indications are positive.