AstraZeneca and Hutchison MediPharma, an R&D company majority owned by Chi-Med, have entered into a global licensing, co-development, and commercialization agreement for Volitinib (HMPL-504), a novel targeted therapy and a highly selective inhibitor of the c-Met receptor tyrosine kinase for the treatment of cancer. Volitinib, which will imminently enter phase I testing, has been discovered and developed in China by HMP.
Under the terms of the agreement, development costs for Volitinib in China will be shared between HMP and AstraZeneca, with HMP continuing to lead the development in China. AstraZeneca will lead and pay for the development of Volitinib for the rest of the world. An initial cash payment of US$20 million is payable by AstraZeneca to HMP upon the signing of the agreement. In addition, HMP will receive up to $120 million contingent upon the successful achievement of clinical development and first sale milestones. The agreement also contains possible significant future commercial sale milestones and up to double-digit percentage royalties on net sales.
"We are very much looking forward to collaborating with AstraZeneca around Volitinib. Our collaboration will support the development and commercialisation of this novel oncology innovation, discovered in China, to the global market on an accelerated basis, something we could not have done alone," said Christian Hogg, chief executive officer of Chi-Med.