Genentech and Hanmi strike $900m cancer deal

Roche’s Genentech unit is to partner with South Korea’s Hanmi Pharmaceutical, to develop and market a phase 1 cancer drug, in a deal potentially worth over $900 million.

Under the agreement, Genentech will obtain exclusive worldwide rights outside South Korea, to develop and market Hanmi’s pan-RAF inhibitor HM95573.

Hanmi will receive $80 million upfront, plus payments totalling up to $830 million on achievement of predetermined development, regulatory and commercial milestones.

It could also receive tiered double digit royalties on sales of certain products resulting from the license agreement.

Full financial terms, such as the role of each company in the partnership, have not been disclosed.

RAF kinases, consisting of three subtypes (A-RAF, B-RAF, C-RAF), are one of the mitogen activated protein kinases (MAP Kinase) that transduce signals in cells, and especially B-RAF and C-RAF are known to be associated with various cancers.

James Sabry, senior vice president and global head of Genentech Partnering, said: “We are excited to partner with Hanmi and leverage their scientific insights to develop novel therapies that target the MAPK pathway.”

Hanmi is working on pharma R&D in three fields – biologics tackling diabetes and obesity, drugs targeting oncology and auto-immune diseases and fixed dose combination drugs.

It aims to expand further by finding potential partners for its drugs.

The deal will go ahead in Q4 this year if it clears US antitrust regulations.

Don't miss your daily pharmaphorum news.
SUBSCRIBE free here.