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Roche, Innovent sign $2bn bispecifics deal

Deal will focus on developing treatments for haematological and solid cancers

Roche Basel Switzerland

Swiss pharma giant Roche has agreed a deal with Innovent Biologics for the development of cell therapies and bispecific antibodies targeting haematological and solid cancer types.

Under the terms of the agreement, Suzhou, China-based Innovent will pay upfront costs, as well as development and commercial milestone payments and royalties, to access Roche’s technologies.

This includes those that enable the discovery and development of specific 2:1 T-cell bispecific antibodies and Roche’s universal CAR-T platform.

Innovent is set to create, develop, manufacture and eventually commercialise any products or treatments that result from the use of Roche’s technologies, while Roche will retain the option to license each product for development and commercialisation outside of China.

If Roche chooses to exercise all its options as per the terms of the deal, it will pay up to $140m to Innovent, plus additional development, approval and sales milestone payments up to $1.96bn if all products are successfully developed and commercialised. Roche will also pay double-digit (up to mid-teen) percentage royalties on each product it chooses to develop and commercialise.

"Innovent first entered the cellular therapy space a few years ago, and with this partnership with Roche we are taking a much bolder step forward as we build upon Roche's novel, universal CAR-T cell technology to enhance our cellular therapy discovery platform, and on Roche's 2:1 T-cell bispecific antibody platform for selected targets to discover, develop, and commercialise new proprietary bispecific molecules,” said Michael Yu, chairman and CEO of Innovent.

In 2015, Innovent signed a deal with Eli Lilly to co-develop at least three experimental cancer drugs, which resulted in the development and eventual approval in China of its cancer immunotherapy Tyvyt (sintilimab).

Tyvyt was approved by China’s National Medical Products Administration for relapsed and refractory classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cHL) in December 2018. That approval was touted as a key milestone in the mergence of China in the field of immuno-oncology, signally that the country is now developing brands that can compete with Western developers’ drugs.

Innovent’s new collaboration with Roche highlights the increasing presence of independent biotech companies within China, as Innovent branches into the ever-growing area of CAR-T and bispecific antibody treatments.

“We are excited about working together as we rapidly advance these technologies to proof of concept stage in China, with Roche retaining an ex-China licensing option to carry the ex-China development forward thereafter, potentially benefiting patients globally,” said Yu.

Article by
PMGroup

10th June 2020

From: Regulatory

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