Clovis Oncology, one of the company’s on GEN’s recent list of the seven most likely takeover targets, has defied expectations and instead made an acquisition of its own. Late yesterday the company reported that it had acquired EOS (Ethical Oncology Science), an Italian biopharmaceutical company developing a targeted therapy to treat cancer, for over $200 million. EOS owns the exclusive global (excluding China) rights for lucitanib, an oral, dual-selective inhibitor of the tyrosine kinase activity of fibroblast growth factor receptors 1 and 2 (FGFR1/2) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptors 1-3 (VEGFR1-3).
In 2012, EOS sublicensed lucitanib rights in Europe and the rest-of-world (ROW) markets, excluding China, to Les Laboratoires Servier (Servier). Clovis holds exclusive rights for lucitanib in the U.S. and Japan, and will collaborate with Servier on the global clinical development of lucitanib.
“We have been interested in lucitanib for some time and are pleased to have acquired EOS to add this program to our portfolio,” said Patrick J. Mahaffy, Clovis Oncology’s president and CEO. “It is highly consistent with our focus on developing targeted therapies that provide meaningful benefit to specific patient populations. We are extremely encouraged with lucitanib’s 50 percent response rate seen to date in heavily pretreated targeted patients and we intend to develop it aggressively, in collaboration with our partner Servier.”
In an ongoing Phase I/IIa study, lucitanib has reportedly demonstrated multiple objective responses in FGF-aberrant breast cancer patients, and objective responses have also been observed in patients with tumors often sensitive to angiogenesis inhibitors, such as renal cell and thyroid cancer. FGF-aberrations include amplification of the FGFR1 gene as well as amplification of a region of chromosome 11q that contains several FGF ligands, specifically FGF-3, -4 and -19.The initial development program for lucitanib will focus on the approximately 25% of women with breast cancer who have FGF-aberrant disease.
In addition to the up-front payment of $200 million, which includes $190 million in Clovis common and $10 million in cash, Clovis will pay an additional $65 million in cash upon the initial approval of lucitanib by the U.S. FDA. Pursuant to the license agreement with Servier, Clovis is entitled to receive up to €350 million (approximately $470 million) upon the achievement of development and commercial milestones, as well as royalties on sales of lucitanib in the Servier territories. Clovis will also pay the EOS shareholders up to an additional €115 million in cash (approximately $155 million) upon the receipt by Clovis of certain of the milestone payments pursuant to the Servier license agreement. Clovis and Servier will collaborate on the development of lucitanib pursuant to a mutually agreed-upon global development plan. Servier is responsible for the initial €80 million (approximately $108 million) of costs under the global development plan, and costs above €80 million will be shared equally between the companies.