Curis, Inc., Aurigene Discovery Technologies Limited Forge $415 Million+ Immuno-Oncology Pact

Curis, Inc., Aurigene Discovery Technologies Limited Forge $415 Million+ Immuno-Oncology Pact
January 21, 2015
By Krystle Vermes, Breaking News Staff

Massachusetts-based biotechnology company Curis, Inc. announced today that it has struck a deal with Aurigene Discovery Technologies Limited to develop and commercialize drug candidates for cancer treatment. As a result, Curis has agreed to make payments worth approximately $415 million to Aurigene.

Additionally, Curis will pay Aurigene royalties on net sales ranging from high single digits to 10 percent in territories where it successfully commercializes products. Curis now has the option to exclusively license compounds once a development candidate is nominated.

"We are thrilled to partner with Aurigene in seeking to discover, develop and commercialize small molecule drug candidates generated from Aurigene's novel technology and we believe that this collaboration represents a true transformation for Curis that positions the company for continued growth in the development and eventual commercialization of cancer drugs," said Ali Fattaey, president and chief executive officer of Curis. "The multi-year nature of our collaboration means that the parties have the potential to generate a steady pipeline of novel drug candidates in the coming years.”

The first two programs slated to roll out under the collaboration are based on a small molecule antagonist of programmed death ligand-1 in the immuno-oncology field and a small molecule inhibitor of Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4. Curis is aiming to obtain an exclusive license to each program in 2015.

"Aurigene has a long and well-established track record of generating targeted small molecule drug candidates with bio-pharmaceutical collaborators and we have significantly expanded our drug development capabilities as we advance our proprietary drug candidates in currently ongoing clinical studies,” Fattaey continued. “We believe that we are well-positioned to advance compounds from this collaboration into clinical development."

Making Progress in Cancer Therapeutics
In February 2014, Aurigene announced that it had entered a collaborative license, development and commercialization agreement with Pierre Fabre, France’s third largest pharmaceutical company. Through the agreement, Aurigene granted worldwide rights (excluding India) to Pierre Fabre to develop a new immune checkpoint modulator, AUNP-12.

At the time, AUNP-12 was set to go into development for numerous types of cancer. AUNP-12 is a peptide therapeutic in the PD-1 pathway that can offer safer and more effective combination opportunities with existing treatment regimens.

"We are pleased that Pierre Fabre see the PD-1 program as a strategic asset in their portfolio,” said CSN Murthy, CEO of Aurigene. “Overall, the deal structure, in line with the financial terms that have been seen in this space, demonstrate the importance that Pierre Fabre attach to the program.”

BioSpace Temperature Poll
What Are Your Predictions for the Price Bidding War? The market has been buzzing about an escalating price war between large payers like Express Scripts and Big Pharma. Multiple deals last week showed Gilead forming exclusive pacts and smaller companies like Kite Pharma starting talks early. What do you think will be the effect on prices? BioSpace wants your opinion!

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