US immune-oncology drug developer RAPT Therapeutics and South Korea’s Hanmi Pharmaceutical have entered into a license and collaboration agreement for FLX475 in Asia, worth up to $118 million, with the news sending the US firm’s up more than 10% to $27.53
FLX475 is an oral, small molecule CCR4 antagonist in development for the treatment of multiple cancers, said RAPT (formerly known as FLX Bio).
“We are actively building our immuno-oncology portfolio, and see FLX475 as a potential keystone in our effort to deliver new safe and effective cancer therapeutics to patients who need them,”
said Hanmi chief executive Se-Chang Kwon.
“This compound complements our current product portfolio and has the potential to address a large and growing population of patients suffering from cancers that are prevalent in Asian countries. We look forward to partnering with RAPT to advance FLX475 through the clinic efficiently.”
Under the terms of the agreement, RAPT will receive $10 million in an upfront payment and near-term milestone payment. Additionally, RAPT will receive up to $48 million in success-based development milestones and up to $60 million in potential sales milestones, as well as double-digit royalties on any future sales of FLX475 in the specified territories.
In return, Hanmi will receive an exclusive license to develop, in parallel with RAPT, and commercialize FLX475 for the treatment of cancer in South Korea and China, including Taiwan and Hong Kong. In addition to leveraging its clinical trial infrastructure in Korea and China to augment RAPT’s ongoing Phase I/II clinical study of FLX475, Hanmi will also conduct a Phase II clinical trial in Korea and China to evaluate FLX475 in patients with gastric cancer.
“This collaboration with Hanmi can provide us an entry point into the Asian market, allowing us to potentially expand our geographic footprint in a region with high prevalence of patients with “charged” tumors who we believe are most likely to respond to FLX475,”
said Dr. Brian Wong, president and CEO of RAPT Therapeutics.
“Hanmi, with its fully integrated R&D infrastructure and nimble execution efficiency, has accumulated clinical development experiences and an extensive network of key opinion leaders. We believe Hanmi is a perfect partner for the development of FLX475,” he noted.
RAPT is currently enrolling patients in Phase I/II study of FLX475 as a monotherapy, and in combination with pembrolizumab, in patients with “charged” tumors and expect results from the Phase II portion of the trial in the first half of 2020.