Yuhan Co., a major Korean pharmaceutical company, has licensed out its new clinical-stage lung cancer treatment to Janssen Biotech in a deal that is valued at up to $1.255 billion.
Under the deal, Yuhan exports its technology for “Lazertinib,” a drug candidate for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), to Janssen Biotech, a multinational pharmaceutical company. The two companies will cooperate in developing and commercializing Lazertinib for patients with NSCLC.
Yuhan receives US$50 million upfront and will receive a total of US$1.205 billion if each milestone in the development and commercialization process is attained. If the drug is commercialized and wins sales approval, Yuhan is entitled to double-digit royalties on sales.
In return, Jannsen is given an exclusive right to develop, manufacture and commercialize Lazertinib and sell it around the world, excluding Korea. The right to develop and commercialize the drug in Korea will be maintained by Yuhan.
In addition, the two companies agreed to jointly conduct a global clinical trial of Lazertinib as a single treatment and as a treatment administered with other drugs. They are planning to start clinical trials in 2019.
According to Yuhan, Lazertinib is a third-generation epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase (EGFR-TK) inhibitor that penetrates brain tissue. It is said to be effective for NSCLC.
Lazertinib is currently undergoing clinical trials in Korea. According to the interim results, the drug candidate showed efficacy for NSCLC patients who have developed a tolerance to existing EGFR TK inhibitors. On the other hand, it has been confirmed that the rate of serious side effects is small.
"Yannsen is the best strategic partner with expertise in research and development of anti-cancer drugs," said Lee Jung-hee, the CEO of Yuhan Corporation. “We will advance the development of Lazertinib to improve the lives of lung cancer victims.”