Coronado Biosciences entered an exclusive license agreement with Suzhou, China-based NeuPharma to develop and commercialize irreversible, third generation EGFR inhibitors on a global basis excluding certain Asian countries.

According to Coronado, the inhibitors developed by NeuPharma may have distinct advantages over the current third generation compounds in this class. “Targeting EGFR mutations with third-generation covalently-bound inhibitors has demonstrated clear activity in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) carrying specific EGFR mutations while avoiding the toxicity seen with first and second generation inhibitors that also target wild type EGFR, which typically results in dose limiting side effects such as diarrhea and rash,” said Lindsay A. Rosenwald, M.D., Ph.D., chairman and CEO at Coronado.

Coronado said it will pay NeuPharma an undisclosed upfront licensing fee as well as make milestone payments based on development and sales and additionally pay a tiered single digit royalty on net sales. The program is currently in preclinical development.

Coronado also reported the formation of yet another new company today. Mustang Therapeutics was created in partnership with the City of Hope. Mustang will initially focus on the development and commercialization of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T) technology. The company said the deal is valued in excess of $40 million via upfront and milestone payments to City of Hope.

This follows the formation on March 4 of Checkpoint Therapeutics, created to develop a portfolio of fully human immuno-oncology targeted antibodies generated in the laboratory of Wayne Marasco, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the department of cancer immunology and AIDS at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“We have made substantial progress in 2014 and are leveraging our extensive biopharmaceutical business, financial, and drug development expertise to invest in the acquisition, development, and commercialization of novel pharmaceutical and other biomedical products with high growth potential,” Dr. Rosenwald said. “We now have multiple subsidiaries focused on a number of important, growing therapeutic areas including dermatology, postoperative pain, and immuno-oncology.”

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