Specialized Therapeutics Asia (STA) will market PharmaMar’s cancer candidate lurbinectedin (PM1183) in Australia, New Zealand, and 12 Southeast Asian countries, the companies said today.
Under the license and related subscription agreement, whose value was not disclosed, STA has agreed to pay PharmaMar an upfront payment followed by payments tied to achieving regulatory and sales milestones. In return, PharmaMar will retain exclusive production rights and will supply the finished dosage form to STA.
Lurbinectedin, the third antitumor compound to be developed by PharmaMar from a marine organism, is an inhibitor of RNA polymerase II, an enzyme that is essential for the transcription process but is overactivated in tumors with transcription addiction.
Lurbinectedin is in Phase III trials for solid tumors, with data in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer expected to be read out in the second half of this year, and in small-cell lung cancer in 2019. The candidate is also under Phase II study as a second-line treatment for for BRCA1- and BRCA2-associated metastatic breast cancer.
“We eagerly await data from these final stage studies and look forward to making new therapies like this available to patients throughout our regions who are affected by difficult-to-treat cancers,” STA CEO Carlo Montagner said in a statement.
The Southeast Asian countries covered by the agreement are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Timor-Leste, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In a related deal, an STA-controlled entity will take a €2.11 million ($2.35 million) equity stake in PharmaMar by acquiring 444,400 new common shares of PharmaMar, representing 0.2% of its share capital, at €4.75 ($5.28) per share—a 30% premium over the volume-weighted average market price of the shares of PharmaMar on the Spanish Stock Exchanges during the 20 trading days before the signing of the license agreement.
PharmaMar chairman José María Fernández Sousa-Faro, Ph.D., stated that the agreement was his company’s second with STA for the commercialization of a marine-based cancer drug.