A deal-hungry Takeda has stepped up with a $145 million pact to partner with Exelixis on cabozantinib.
Exelixis $EXEL grabbed a $50 million upfront in the deal, and stands to earn another $95 million in milestones, as Takeda takes a lead role in developing cabo for the Japanese market.
“We intend to pursue regulatory approval for (renal cell carcinoma) indications as soon as we’re able, and look forward to commencing the local clinical trial program to further strengthen the clinical profile of cabozantinib,” said Tsudoi Miyoshi, head of Japan Oncology Business Unit of Takeda.
Another near-term objective will be advanced hepatocellular cancer, with pivotal data due out later this year.
The deal is a natural outcome for both players. Takeda has been reorganizing and restructuring, happy to pay out substantial funds to beef up its pipeline for Japan but also the rest of the world. It proved that a few weeks ago by agreeing to pay $5.2 billion for Ariad. Exelixis, meanwhile, joins a long list of biopharma companies striking individual deals for the Japanese market, which is tightly controlled by a handful of local players.
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