4:53 PM
Mar 07, 2018
 |  BC Extra  |  Company News

Eisai, Merck in global oncology deal

Eisai Co. Ltd. (Tokyo:4523) and Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK) partnered worldwide to jointly develop and commercialize Eisai's cancer drug Lenvima lenvatinib mesylate as monotherapy and in combination with PD-1 mAb Keytruda pembrolizumab to treat cancer. The combination is being evaluated in the Phase III Study 307 trial to treat renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and has breakthrough therapy status from FDA for the indication.

Eisai will receive $300 million up front and $450 million as reimbursement for R&D costs. The company is eligible for up to $385 million in clinical and regulatory milestone payments, up to $650 million for option rights through 2020 and up to $4 billion in Lenvima sales milestone payments. The companies will equally share gross Lenvima profits as well as development and commercialization costs.

The two companies will jointly conduct new clinical trials of the combo to treat 11 indications in six types of cancer including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), bladder cancer and melanoma, and will also conduct a basket trial of multiple cancer types.

Lenvima, an inhibitor of multiple VEGF receptor tyrosine kinases, is marketed in the U.S., EU and Japan to treat refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) and in the U.S. and EU to treat renal cell carcinoma (RCC). It is also under review to treat hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the U.S., Japan, Europe and Taiwan.

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