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July 30, 2013

Servier to Develop Nerviano Anticancer Compounds in Up to $143.6M Deal

  • Servier obtained a worldwide license to further develop and commercialize Nerviano Medical Sciences’ first-in-class compounds inhibiting the protein kinase TTK/MPS1—an oncology target that has shown preclinical promise—in a deal that could net Nerviano up to €108 million (about $143.6 million), the companies said today.

    In return, Servier agreed to pay Nerviano €8 million ($10.6 million) upfront, plus up to €100 million ($132.9 million) in option fees and payments tied to undisclosed clinical and regulatory milestones, in addition to royalties on the sale of licensed products.

    Nerviano said it will complete the preclinical development of the lead candidate drug. Servier will bear all development and commercialization costs if it exercises its option—in which case, Nerviano agreed to continue supporting Servier for the early clinical development and supply of the licensed product.

    “We have preclinical data, which suggest that TTK may represent an attractive therapeutic target in a poor prognosis-associated subgroup of breast cancer,” Stéphane Depil, M.D., Ph.D., Servier’s director of oncology R&D, said in a statement. “Combining our capabilities will accelerate the translation of our findings into the clinic.”

    Nerviano said it will complete preclinical development of a lead candidate drug, while Servier will bear all development and commercialization costs if it exercises its option. In that case, Nerviano said, it will continue to support Servier for the early clinical development and the supply of the licensed product.

    Nerviano’s pipeline includes several anticancer compounds in Phase I–II trials, including nemorubicin for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), danusertib for solid tumors and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), and milciclib for thymic carcinoma in patients previously treated with chemotherapy.

    Servier joins Roche’s Genentech subsidiary, Pfizer, and Novartis among drug developers with which Nerviano has collaborations. Nerviano is indirectly owned by Italy’s Regione Lombardia through the Regional Foundation for Biomedical Research.

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