Pharma Focus Asia

PharmaMar and Jazz Pharmaceuticals Sign Exclusive License Agreement for Lurbinectedin in the U.S.

Friday, December 20, 2019

PharmaMar and Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc announced that PharmaMar and Jazz Pharmaceuticals Ireland Limited have entered into an exclusive license agreement for lurbinectedin in the United States.

Under the terms of this agreement, PharmaMar will receive an upfront payment of $200 million with potential regulatory milestone payments of up to $250 million upon the achievement of accelerated and/or full regulatory approval of lurbinectedin by FDA within certain timelines.

PharmaMar is also eligible to receive up to $550 million in potential commercial milestone payments, as well as incremental tiered royalties on future net sales of lurbinectedin ranging from the high teens up to 30 percent. PharmaMar may receive additional payments on approval of other indications. PharmaMar retains production rights for lurbinectedin and will supply the product to Jazz.

Lurbinectedin was granted orphan drug designation for SCLC by FDA in August 2018. In December 2019, PharmaMar submitted an NDA to FDA for accelerated approval of lurbinectedin for relapsed SCLC, based on data from its Phase 2 basket trial, following positive interactions with FDA.

The lurbinectedin Phase 2 monotherapy basket trial enrolled a total of 105 patients at 39 centers in eight Western European countries in addition to the U.S. The primary endpoint was Overall Response Rate (ORR) as measured by investigator review assessment. Secondary endpoints included Duration of Response, Progression-Free Survival, Overall Survival, and safety. In relapsed SCLC, lurbinectedin showed an ORR of 35.2%, which compares favorably to topotecan's historical ORR of 16.9%1 by investigator assessment. In addition, lurbinectedin demonstrated a favorable safety, tolerability and administration profile versus historical standard of care.

"We are very pleased with the lurbinectedin agreement with our new U.S. partner Jazz," said José María Fernández Sousa-Faro, PhD, President of PharmaMar. "We are convinced that with Jazz, we have found a partner deeply committed to providing lurbinectedin to patients in the U.S.  Lurbinectedin has the potential to become a therapeutic alternative for patients with relapsed small cell lung cancer, who have limited treatment options."

"Lurbinectedin represents a strong strategic fit and an exciting opportunity for Jazz to expand our oncology portfolio with a late stage asset," said Bruce C. Cozadd, Chairman and CEO of Jazz Pharmaceuticals.  "We are looking forward to commercializing lurbinectedin in the U.S., as SCLC is an area of significant unmet medical need given limited late-stage treatment options and we believe lurbinectedin may offer patients with relapsed SCLC a meaningful treatment option."

SCLC is a very aggressive cancer that usually is diagnosed with advanced, often metastatic, disease, thus limiting the role of traditional approaches and often posing a worse prognosis when compared to other lung cancers2. In the U.S., approximately 10-15% of lung cancers are small cell.2 Approximately 30,000 new cases of SCLC are recorded in the U.S. every year3.

Closing of the agreement is subject to expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

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