Incyte Corporation and Calithera Biosciences announce that the companies have entered into a global collaboration and license agreement for the research, development and commercialization of Calithera’s first-in-class, small molecule arginase inhibitor CB-1158 in hematology and oncology. CB-1158 is currently being studied in a monotherapy dose escalation trial and additional studies are expected to evaluate CB-1158 in combination with immuno-oncology agents, including anti-PD-1 therapy.
“Arginase-expressing tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells have been shown to play an important role in orchestrating the immune suppressive microenvironment in cancer; but, to date, therapeutic targeting of the arginase enzyme has remained elusive,” said Reid Huber, Ph.D., Incyte’s Chief Scientific Officer. “The addition of this first-in-class, small molecule arginase inhibitor, CB-1158, to our portfolio expands our innovative immuno-oncology pipeline and allows us to continue to advance our mission of discovering and developing immune-active combination therapies to treat patients with cancer.”
“In this strategic partnership with Incyte, CB-1158 is expected to be evaluated in multiple trials of novel therapeutic combinations, accelerating its development across hematological and oncology indications,” said Susan Molineaux, Ph.D., Calithera’s Chief Executive Officer.
Terms of the Collaboration
Under the terms of the collaboration and license agreement, Calithera will receive an up-front payment of $45 million from Incyte. In addition, Incyte will make an equity investment in Calithera of $8 million through the purchase of shares at a price of $4.65 per share.
Incyte will receive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize CB-1158 in hematology and oncology and Calithera will retain certain rights to research, develop and commercialize certain other arginase inhibitors in certain orphan indications.
Incyte and Calithera will jointly conduct and co-fund development of CB-1158, with Incyte leading global development activities. Incyte will fund 70 percent of global development and Calithera will be responsible for the remaining 30 percent. In the event of regulatory approvals and commercialization of CB-1158, Incyte and Calithera will share in any future U.S. profits and losses (receiving 60 percent and 40 percent, respectively) and Calithera will be eligible to receive over $430 million in potential development, regulatory and commercialization milestones from Incyte. Per the terms of the agreement, Calithera will have the right to co-detail CB-1158 in the U.S. and also be eligible to receive from Incyte tiered royalties based on future ex-U.S. sales, with rates ranging from low-to-mid double-digits.
The agreement also provides that Calithera may choose to opt out of its co-funding obligations. In this scenario, Calithera would no longer be eligible to receive future U.S. profits and losses but would be eligible to receive up to $750 million in potential development, regulatory and commercialization milestones from Incyte and, if the product is approved and commercialized, also be eligible to receive reimbursement based on previous development expenditures incurred by Calithera and tiered royalty payments on future global sales of CB-1158, with rates ranging from low-to-mid double-digits.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery