Sesen Bio announces an exclusive license agreement with Qilu Pharmaceutical for the development and commercialization of Vicineumâ„¢ in Greater China

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Sesen Bio, a late-stage clinical company developing targeted fusion protein therapeutics for the treatment of patients with cancer, and Qilu Pharmaceutical, a leading vertically integrated pharmaceutical company in China specializing in the manufacturing and marketing of active pharmaceutical ingredients and drug products, announced that the companies have entered into an exclusive licensing agreement for the manufacture, development and commercialization of Vicineum for the treatment of BCG-unresponsive non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (“NMIBC”) and other types of cancer in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan (“Greater China”).

“As a leader in the Chinese pharmaceutical industry, we believe there is no better company than Qilu suited to support the expansion of our development and commercialization efforts for Vicineum,” said Dr. Thomas Cannell, president and chief executive officer of Sesen Bio. “Qilu is well-respected for their commercialization and manufacturing expertise, and this partnership marks an important milestone not only in realizing what we believe to be a significant market opportunity for Vicineum, but in strengthening our balance sheet through nondilutive capital while we remain focused on pursuing regulatory approval in the United States and the European Union. Additionally, we are thrilled to have completed this agreement completely virtually, despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, which speaks volumes to the strong execution capabilities of the Sesen team. This reinforces our focus on continuing to pursue additional business development opportunities for Vicineum outside the US in this manner.”

“Sesen is the ideal partner for us, given their expertise in NMIBC and our complementary skillsets and the different geographic focus between our two companies,” said Yan Li, chief executive officer of Qilu Pharmaceutical. “We look forward to working with Sesen and The National Medical Products Administration to bring Vicineum to patients who urgently need better therapies for BCG unresponsive non-muscle invasive bladder cancer in China.”

“Vicineum is a potential first-in-class, highly differentiated product candidate that can address a significant unmet need in China,” said Oliver Kong, M.D. chief medical officer, corporate vice president of Qilu Pharmaceutical. “The unique mechanism of action of Vicineum and associated strong clinical data position Vicineum to make a meaningful impact on the lives of patients.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Sesen granted Qilu Pharmaceutical an exclusive license to develop and commercialize Vicineum in Greater China. Sesen will receive an upfront payment of $12 million and is eligible to receive up to an additional $23 million in technology transfer and regulatory milestone payments. Upon commercialization in Greater China, Sesen is also entitled to receive royalties on net sales in Greater China. Sesen retains full development and commercialization rights for Vicineum for the treatment of NMIBC in the US and the rest of the world excluding Greater China. The terms of the agreement also include the transfer of the Vicineum manufacturing technology to Qilu Pharmaceutical, whose world-class manufacturing expertise represents a future opportunity for production expansion to meet the anticipated significant global demand for Vicineum for the treatment of NMIBC.