Blueprint and CStone Team Up to Bring Cancer Medicines to China
Blueprint Medicines Corporation and privately held CStone Pharmaceuticals have entered into a partnership to develop and commercialize avapritinib, BLU-554 and BLU-667 in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, either as monotherapies or combination therapies. Discovered and developed by Blueprint Medicines, the three drugs are potent and highly selective investigational kinase medicines that have demonstrated clinical proof-of-concept in genomically defined subsets of patients with cancer.
Blueprint Medicines will retain all rights to the licensed products in the rest of the world.
The collaboration strengthens CStone’s portfolio with exclusive rights in the identified territory to the three clinical-stage targeted therapies and expands Blueprint Medicines' global efforts to address patient populations with high unmet needs.
According to the agreement, Blueprint Medicines will receive an upfront cash payment of $40 million and will be eligible to receive up to approximately $346 million in potential milestone payments. Of that amount, $118.5 million is reserved for development and regulatory milestones while the remaining $227.5 million is tied to sales. In addition, CStone Pharmaceuticals will be obligated to pay Blueprint Medicines tiered percentage royalties on a licensed product-by-licensed product basis.
Based in Suzhou, China, CStone Pharmaceuticals will be responsible for conducting all development and commercialization activities in the defined territory related to the licensed products. In addition, the company will be responsible for costs related to the development of the licensed products, other than specified costs related to the development of BLU-554 as a combination therapy, which will be shared by both organizations.
The companies also plan to initiate a proof-of-concept clinical trial in China evaluating BLU-554 in combination with CS1001, a clinical-stage anti-programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) immunotherapy being developed by CStone Pharmaceuticals, as a first-line therapy for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
"Founded by seasoned executives with deep global and regional development experience and with a growing portfolio of potentially complementary cancer therapies, CStone Pharmaceuticals is an ideal partner in China," said Blueprint Medicines CEO Jeff Albers. "With recent regulatory reforms in China and the emergence of innovative companies like CStone Pharmaceuticals, we believe this forward-looking collaboration has the potential to expand our ability to address significant patient needs in Greater China while supporting global development of avapritinib, BLU-554 and BLU-667.”
CStone Pharmaceuticals CEO Frank Jiang echoed Albers’ excitement about the deal. "We are thrilled to enter into this collaboration with Blueprint Medicines, a leader in the discovery and development of highly selective kinase medicines, as the first step in a potentially long-term strategic partnership," Jiang said. "Based on the compelling clinical data reported to date, we believe Blueprint Medicines' targeted therapies hold promise for dramatically altering the treatment landscape for patients in China with gastrointestinal stromal tumors, hepatocellular carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer and other cancers.”