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Celgene, BeiGene to advance PD-1 inhibitor for solid tumor cancers

PBR Staff Writer Published 06 July 2017

Celgene has agreed to develop and commercialize BeiGene’s investigational anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) inhibitor, BGB-A317 for the treatment of solid tumor cancers.

The deal will pertain to treating patients with BGB-A317 in the US, Europe, Japan and rest of world outside Asia.

In this regard, BeiGene will receive a total of $263m in the form of upfront licensing fees from Celgene along with a $150m equity investment for a stake of 5.9%.

BeiGene will also be entitled for payments up to $980m through development, regulatory and sales milestone payments and royalties related to future sales of the PD-1 inhibitor.

BeiGene will hold exclusive rights for the PD-1 inhibitor’s development and commercialization for treating hematological malignancies throughout the world and for treating solid tumors in Asia with the exclusion of Japan.

Additionally, BeiGene will acquire Celgene's Chinese operations. It will also license and take up commercial activities of the approved therapies of Celgene in Abraxane, Revlimid and Vidaza.

BeiGene co-founder, CEO, and chairman John V. Oyler said: "This strategic partnership with Celgene is a transformational event for BeiGene, transitioning us into a commercial-stage company and preparing us well for the future potential launch of our internally developed compounds, some of which are already in pivotal trials in China.

"Aligned in our mission and therapeutic focus, we believe that we have forged a promising alliance with Celgene that will help both companies fulfill their ultimate commitments of bringing new, life-altering treatments to patients in China and worldwide."

BeiGene has also secured the licensing rights to the next generation CelMOD CC-122 in China which is being developed by Celgene for the treatments of lymphoma and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Celgene CEO Mark J. Alles said: "The acquisition of BGB-A317 significantly accelerates and expands our opportunity to develop and deliver novel T-cell checkpoint inhibitor-based therapies in solid tumor cancers to patients worldwide and adds to our ongoing PD-L1 FUSION program in hematological malignancies.

"China is an important market for Celgene, and our collaboration with BeiGene positions us exceptionally well to optimize research, manufacturing, and the long-term commercial potential of our portfolio in China."

Approved by the boards of directors of both the companies, the transactions are anticipated to be closed in the third quarter, subject to various customary conditions.