Astellas signs Asian licensing deal with Aquinox; Aravive touts early-stage PoC

→ Tokyo’s Astellas Pharma has inked a licensing deal with Vancouver’s Aquinox Pharmaceutical, snagging development and commercialization rights for Aquinox’s lead drug candidate rosiptor in Japan and other Asia-Pacific countries. The asset is a first-in-class, once-daily oral treatment that’s currently in Phase III trials for interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome in North America and Europe. As part of the deal, Aquinox will get $25 million in an upfront payment, and up to $130 million in additional milestones plus royalties.

“The agreement fits with our strategy to deliver innovative drugs in therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs,” said Naoki Okamura, chief strategy officer of Astellas, in a statement. “Rosiptor has a novel mechanism of action, activation of SHIP1. Astellas has a history of discovery and development of the unique medical treatments to improve patients’ quality of life. By leveraging this strength, we aim to deliver this potential new therapeutic option to those patients who are suffering from IC/BPS.”

→ Houston-based Aravive Biologics says it demonstrated clinical proof-of-mechanism for AVB-S6-500 in neutralizing GAS6, based on analysis of the single ascending dose portion of the ongoing Phase 1 study (32 subjects).

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