Tolero Pharmaceuticals, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based company focused on cancer, has been granted exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize compounds from Valencia, Calif.-based MannKind’s novel BTK (Bruton’s tyrosine kinase) program, which are currently being developed for the treatment of hematological malignancies and inflammatory diseases.
Tolero will pay MannKind upfront and milestone payments linked to the development, approval and commercialization of products, for a potential total of approximately $130 million. MannKind will also receive tiered royalties on sales of products and a percentage of sublicensing revenue. In addition, MannKind has an option to re-acquire the rights to the program at pre-specified terms until 60 days after the conclusion of the first phase I study. If MannKind exercises this option, then MannKind would assume responsibility for developing and commercializing products and Tolero would become entitled to receive the milestone payments, royalties and sublicensing revenues specified in the agreement.
“We are really excited about this opportunity,” said Dallin Anderson, chairman and president of Tolero. “BTK currently represents one of the most exciting therapeutic targets in oncology, and we feel that our collaborative approach to targeting BTK may uncover some novel utilities not yet fully realized.”
David Bearss, founder of Tolero, added, “BTK has already been demonstrated to be a validated clinical target in multiple disease settings. We believe that MannKind has developed a series of novel compounds with unique mechanisms of action that may lead to important treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.”