Korean firm Hanmi Pharmaceutical negotiated exclusive rights to Kinex Pharmaceuticals’ lead clinical-stage anticancer candidate, KX01 (KX2-391), for all oncology indications in selected Asian territories including China and Korea but excluding Japan. KX01 is currently in Phase II trials for the treatment of prostate cancer. Phase II studies in leukemia, ovarian cancer, and triple-negative breast cancer are expected to start during 2011.
Under terms of the deal, Kinex will receive an up-front payment, milestones, and sales royalties. Hanmi will shoulder all development responsibilities and associated costs in its designated territories and will work with Kinex on global Phase III trials.
KX01 has been developed by Kinex using its Mimetica™ and Opal™ (optimized photo-affinity labeling) platforms. Mimetica is a a technology for designing small molecule kinase inhibitors that bind in the substrate pocket. Opal has been developed to identify intracellular targets that bind to small molecule drugs and provide information on the mechanism of action of drug candidates. Kinex claims KX01 has a dual mechanism of action involving Src kinase signalling inhibition and pretubulin inhibition. A second src/pretubulin inhibitor, KX02, is expected to start in Phase I trials during 2011.