ARTICLE | Company News

Helsinn adds first cancer therapeutic via MEI deal

August 8, 2016 7:00 AM UTC

Helsinn Healthcare S.A. (Lugano, Switzerland) is expanding its focus in cancer beyond supportive care through a licensing deal with MEI Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:MEIP) for pracinostat (formerly SB939) to treat newly diagnosed acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). On Monday, Helsinn obtained exclusive, worldwide rights to the class I, II and IV oral histone deacetylase ( HDAC) inhibitor. It expects to begin a Phase III trial of the compound in 1Q17.

MEI will receive $15 million in cash up front and is eligible to receive $5 million upon the start of the Phase III study, an additional $444 million in milestones, plus tiered royalties. Helsinn also made a $5 million equity investment in MEI. ...