Janssen follows AZ to develop PARP inhibitor in prostate cancer

Janssen appears to be following in the footsteps of AstraZeneca (AZ), after signing a potential $450 million deal to develop a PARP inhibitor in prostate cancer.

The Johnson & Johnson unit has signed a collaboration and licence deal that gives exclusive rights to Tesaro’s niraparib in prostate cancer.

Niraparib, which Massachusetts-based Tesaro in-licensed from Merck & Co in 2012 for $7 million, is an orally administered poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, currently in late-stage development for patients with metastatic breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Janssen’s decision follows the FDA’s decision to grant AZ’s Lynparza (olaparib) Breakthrough Therapy designation in prostate cancer in January, allowing for an expedited 60-day review of submitted data.

Janssen gains global rights and will be responsible for all development and commercialisation activities for niraparib in prostate cancer, except in Japan.

Tesaro will maintain global development, manufacturing and commercial rights for all other indications.

Janssen will make a $35 million upfront payment and Tesaro will receive milestone payments worth up to $415 million if Janssen achieves certain development, regulatory and commercial goals, as well as tiered double-digit royalties on future worldwide sales.

Separately Johnson & Johnson Innovation will make an equity investment of $50 million in Tesaro.

EvaluatePharma last year said 2020 consensus forecasts for niraparib stand at $499 million. Sales of Lynparza, already approved in the US and EU in ovarian cancer, were forecast to be $566 million.

Related stories:

AZ’s Lynparza gains Breakthrough Status in prostate cancer

NICE blocks AZ’s ovarian cancer drug again, but leaves door open a crack

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