Deals, Setbacks

Daiichi ditches Nektar following cancer drug flop

Pharma giant Daiichi Sankyo is bailing on its collaboration with Nektar Therapeutics $NKTR — and demanding a $12.5 million refund — following the smaller company’s failure to get its cancer drug Onzeald approved in Europe.

Daiichi Sankyo Europe struck a regional licensing deal with Nektar back in 2016, paying $20 million up front for rights to market the drug in Europe, Switzerland and Turkey. The duo was gambling on an early approval for Onzeald after researchers extracted data from their BEACON study on 67 advanced breast cancer patients with a history of brain metastases. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use was not impressed.

“The claim of effectiveness relied on data from a subgroup of patients from a main study which, overall, failed to convincingly show the effectiveness of Onzeald,” reads the EMA’s rejection.

Now, Daiichi Sankyo wants to cut its ties with Nektar, terminating its collaboration agreement with the company as of February 4, 2018. Nektar is obligated to pay Daiichi a $12.5 million termination payment, according to Nektar’s SEC statement. All rights and licenses granted to Daiichi under the deal will now revert exclusively to Nektar.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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