Cubist Pharmaceuticals will pay $4.7 million for an exclusive option to acquire Illumigen Biosciences. This agreement is based on the evaluation of Illumigen’s preclinical candidate, IB657, for the treatment of HCV. If Cubist exercises this option, Illumigen shareholders will earn $9 million upfront and up to $332.5 million in milestone fees.
Cubist views this as an opportunity to pad its anti-infective drug pipeline, which is still in the preclinical phase. The company does, however, have one drug on the market, called Cubicin, which is an IV antibacterial.
IB657 is a protein therapeutic in development as an interferon replacement product. During the option period, Cubist will also provide approximately $1 million for an IND-enabling study and will cover operating costs.
If Cubist decides to take over Illumigen, the company could pay up to $75.5 million in development and regulatory milestones related to IB657 in HCV. If Cubist develops an Illumigen product for the treatment of viral infections other than HCV, additional development and regulatory milestone payments of up to $117 million would apply. If Illumigen products are commercialized, sales milestones of up to $140 million as well as tiered royalties will be paid.