The drug is expected to take around five-to-seven years to be commercialised. Lupin will receive an upfront payment of $20 million
Lupin, India's third largest drug maker, on September 4 has entered into a licensing agreement with Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim to develop and commercialise a novel anti-cancer compound in a deal valued at $700 million.
The partnership aims to develop Lupin’s lead MEK inhibitor compound in combination with one of Boehringer Ingelheim’s innovative KRAS inhibitors for patients with gastrointestinal and lung cancers harbouring a broad range of oncogenic KRAS mutations.
"Preclinical data has shown that the combination of Boehringer Ingelheim’s novel KRAS inhibitors with MEK inhibitors results in increased anti-tumor activity based on their complementary mechanisms of action in keeping KRAS-driven cancers in check," the company said in a statement.
Lupin's MEK inhibitor compound completed initial Phase-I clinical trial in the UK. Now, Boehringer will take over the clinical development of the drug, including global commercial rights, excluding India.
The drug is expected to take around five-to-seven years to be commercialised, Lupin said. The company will receive an upfront payment of $20 million and potential additional payments for successful achievement of defined clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones for a total deal value of more than $700 million.
Additionally, Lupin will be entitled to receive double-digit royalties on the sales of the product.
KRAS mutations occur in one in seven of all human metastatic cancers, making it the most frequently mutated cancer-causing gene, with mutation rates of over 90 percent in pancreatic cancers, 40 percent in colorectal cancers and 30 percent in lung adenocarcinomas.
Commenting on the deal, Nilesh Gupta, MD, Lupin, said the MEK inhibitor programme successfully cleared early clinical stages, demonstrating our capabilities in delivering world class innovation.”
“The licensing of Lupin’s novel MEK inhibitor enables us to pair with our innovative KRAS inhibitors to develop new combination treatment concepts that provide a more effective and durable response to patients with cancers that currently have limited treatment options available,” said Norbert Kraut, PhD, Head of Global Cancer Research at Boehringer Ingelheim.
The company is also expecting fast-track approval for drugs given its unmet need, said Dr Raj Kamboj, President of Lupin’s Novel Drug Discovery and Development (NDDD).
This was second such licensing deal by Lupin. In December last year, it announced similar licensing deal with US-headquartered global biopharmaceutical player AbbVie for developing a novel oncology drug to treat haematological cancer for $947 million for which it received an upfront payment of $30 million.