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AbbVie (ABBV) Hands Over $275 Million Upfront For Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc. (INFI)’s Blood Cancer Drug; Deal Could Be Worth $805 Million

9/3/2014 6:20:46 AM

AbbVie Hands Over $275 Million Upfront For Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Blood Cancer Drug; Deal Could Be Worth $805 Million

September 3, 2014

By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

Infinity Pharmaceuticals (INFI) and AbbVie (ABBV) announced the two companies had signed a global collaboration agreement to develop and market duvelisib (IPI-145), a potential treatment for blood cancers. As part of the agreement, Infinity will receive $275 million upfront. Additional payments will be forthcoming depending on hitting specific developmental, regulatory and commercial milestones. The milestone payments may total $530 million, with $405 million spelled out for the first commercial sale of duvelisib.

Duvelisib (IPI-145), developed by Infinity, is an oral inhibitor of phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)-delta and PI3K-gamma. It has shown clinical activities in many blood cancers, including indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (iNHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Infinity is currently running several clinical trials on duvelisib, including DYNAMO™, a phase 2 trial in patients with iNHL, and DUO™, a phase 3 study in patients with CLL.

The two companies will jointly commercialize duvelisib in the U.S. and split profits equally. Internationally, AbbVie will run and fund the commercialization efforts, with Infinity eligible for tiered royalties of 23.5% to 30.5% on net sales.

AbbVie was most recently in the news regarding a decision not to appeal a landmark court decision for gays and lesbians. AbbVie is a spinoff of Abbott Laboratories (ABT). In that story, AbbVie was targeted in a lawsuit by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) over HIV pricing for Norvir, an HIV drug. GSK accused Abbott of inappropriately raising prices. During jury selection Abbott struck the only self-identified gay member of potential jurors. GSK challenged the strike, arguing that it was made on the basis of sexual orientation.
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Infinity, located in Cambridge, Mass., recently announced it had entered into a master clinical supply agreement with Roche. Under the agreement, Roche will supply Gazyva™ (obinutuzumab) to Infinity for a planned clinical trial to evaluate the use of Gazyva and duvelisib (IPI-145). Julian Adams, President of Research and Development at Infinity, said, “We believe that duvelisib has the potential to be the best-in-class PI3K inhibitor and that Gazyva has the potential to be the best-in-class anti-CD20 therapy, so we are pleased to have entered into these agreements with Roche. Our ability to evaluate duvelisib in combination with Gazyva in multiple clinical studies is part of Infinity’s strategy to combine duvelisib with both current standards of care and novel, targeted therapies.”

On news of the AbbVie-Infinity deal, shares of Infinity rose 42% to $15.50 in premarket trading. AbbVie stock was inactive.

“AbbVie will be a wonderful partner for Infinity,” said Adelene Q. Perkins, Chair, President and CEO of Infinity, “bringing all of the expertise and scale of a successful, well established company, together with the energy, drive, innovation, and nimbleness of a young organization. We look forward to advancing duvelisib through monotherapy studies designed to enable registration and in furthering our shared longer-term vision of combining duvelisib with both current standards of care and novel, targeted therapies.”

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