Ardea Biosciences will receive $35 million up front from Bayer HealthCare in exchange for its MEK inhibitor program. The company could receive another $372 million in milestones.
The lead candidate in Ardea’s small molecule MEK (mitogen-activated ERK kinase) inhibitor pipeline, RDEA119, is in a Phase I trial evaluating its role as a single agent for the treatment of advanced cancer. It is also in a Phase I/II study in combination with Nexavar®, which his being jointly developed by Onyx Pharmaceuticals and Bayer.
Under the worldwide, exclusive license, Ardea will be responsible for the completion of the both studies. Thereafter, Bayer will take over development and commercialization of RDEA119.
The other candidates in Ardea’s MEK inhibitor program are next-generation compounds derived from chemical classes that are distinct from RDEA119. The most advanced of these compounds is RDEA436, which has been evaluated in a human microdose pharmacokinetic study.
Besides the $372 million in development, regulatory, and sales-based milestones, Ardea is also eligible to receive low double-digit royalties.