Prometheus Laboratories is paying Wilex $19 million up front for exclusive U.S. commercialization rights to the latter’s Rencarex® (girentuximab), which is in Phase III development as an adjuvant therapy for nonmetastatic clear-cell renal cell cancer (ccRCC). Under terms of the deal, Prometheus will co-fund a portion of ongoing development for Rencarex and pay Wilex relevant milestones and U.S. sales royalties. Wilex may in addition be granted rights to commercialize one of Prometheus’ marketed products in non-U.S. markets including Europe or receive additional cash payments of up to $20 million.
Rencarex is a chimeric monoclonal antibody targeting the tumor cell surface antigen CA IX, which is expressed by 95% of ccRCC cells and a range of other solid tumors, Wilex explains. The drug is currently being evaluated in the Phase III placebo-controlled Ariser trial in 864 nonmetastatic ccRCC at high risk of recurrence after nephrectomy. Data from an interim analysis are expected during the second half of 2011. The firm says there is currently no adjuvant therapy approved in the U.S. or Europe for ccRCC patients after surgery.