Tasquinimod is an anti-angiogenic drug currently in Phase III prostate cancer trials.

Ipsen is paying Active Biotech €25 million (about $36 million) up front and potentially another €150 million (roughly $217 million) in clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones as part of a broad partnership agreement to co-develop and commercialize the latter’s anti-angiogenic cancer candidate, tasquinimod (ABR-215050). The drug is currently undergoing Phase III trials for the treatment of metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer.

The deal with Ipsen covers continued development of tasquinimod for prostate cancer and potentially other oncology indications. Ipsen has exclusive rights to commercialize the drug worldwide except in North and South America and Japan, where Active retains all commercial and marketing rights. The firms will co-develop tasquinimod for castrate-resistant prostate cancer and any other other agreed cancer indications. Active will carry out and fund the ongoing Phase III clinical prostate cancer trial, and Ipsen will fund a supportive European study in prostate cancer patients. The firms will share the costs of developing tasquinimod for additional cancer indications.

Ipsen says if tasquinimod is approved for the prostate cancer indication, the drug will complement its existing prostate cancer drug, Decapeptyl®/Trelstar®/Pamorelin® (triptorelin), which it markets under license from developer Debiopharm within the European Union (outside Sweden) and in certain other countries. Decapeptyl is approved in various markets in immediate-release and 1-, 3-, and 6-month sustained-release formulations.