Chugai Pharmaceutical has licensed out worldwide manufacturing, development, and marketing rights to its anticancer candidate PA799 to Menarini Group’s oncology-focused subsidiary Berlin-Chemie Menarini, the companies said today.

The value of the licensing agreement was not disclosed, though the companies said Chugai will receive upfront, milestone, and royalty payments from Menarini Group.

PA799 is a Chugai-developed class I phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor that showed promising results, including a good safety profile, in a Phase I study in Europe assessing the candidate in solid tumors.

“This agreement allows us to add a key component in our portfolio,” Menarini Group chairman Lucia Aleotti said in a statement. “We make today a key step in the effort to expand the multimodal oncology pipeline of Menarini Group.”

Chugai, a member of the Roche group, specializes in cancer therapies. Last month another Roche company, Genentech, sold licensing rights to another PI3K-inhibiting candidate, GDC-0084, for $5 million upfront to Novogen—which in a related deal acquired Glioblast for A$2.1 million (about $1.6 million) upfront and three potential milestone payments.

Cancer is also one of Menarini Group’s three therapeutic areas; the other two are analgesia and gastrointestinal disorders.

Menarini’s cancer candidates include MEN1112, a novel enhanced antibody targeting acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and MEN1309, a novel antibody drug conjugate designed to target lymphomas and solid tumors. Both candidates were developed through a collaboration between Berlin-Chemie Menarini and Oxford BioTherapeutics.

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