GeneSense Technologies, a subsidiary of Lorus Therapeutics, signed an exclusive multinational license agreement with Zor Pharmaceuticals, formed as a subsidiary of Zoticon Bioventures company, to further develop and commercialize Virulizin®. Initial development will focus on advanced pancreatic cancer as the compound is already in a Phase III trial. GeneSense will be entitled to receive payments in excess of $10 million upon achievement of various milestones and royalties that vary from 10–20%.
In addition, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lorus, Pharma Immune, will receive 25% of the initial equity in Zor Pharmaceuticals. Pharma Immune's equity will not be subject to dilution on the first $5 million. Thereafter, Pharma Immune has at its option a right to participate in any additional financings to maintain its ownership level.
GeneSense has also entered into a service agreement with Zor Pharmaceuticals to assist in the transfer of knowledge and establish a strong foundation for moving forward with the development program for Virulizin. Zor Pharmaceuticals will be responsible for the cost of all clinical development, regulatory submissions, and commercialization of Virulizin in North and South America and Europe. GeneSense will retain rights in all other countries including Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
Virulizin is an immunotherapeutic agent works through several mechanisms including the activation of macrophages and the infiltration of natural killer cells into tumors. It has demonstrated high levels of antitumor activity against a number of cancer indications including pancreatic cancer, according to the companies.