Shanghai's Abbisko out-licenses EGFR candidate in potentially nine-figure deal
A Shanghai-based biotech is handing off rights to one of its candidates to another Shanghai company.
Qiming-backed Abbisko — headed by Eli Lilly and Novartis veteran Yao-Chang Xu — said Wednesday that it would be out-licensing its candidate ABK3376 to Allist Pharmaceuticals. The small molecule is a preclinical, brain-penetrant EGFR inhibitor which can inhibit different mutations such as L858R activating mutation or the exon 19 deletion mutation, Abbisko said.
Abbisko wrote in a statement that it would be eligible for an upfront payment from Allist, the exact amount of which was undisclosed, along with $187.9 million in milestones and certain royalties. An Endpoints News query to Abbisko was not immediately returned.
Preclinical studies for the molecule, according to the Shanghai biotech, showed “positive results” when used as a single drug or if used in combination with furmonertinib, Allist’s third-generation EGFR inhibitor.
While furmonertinib is already approved in China, the drug was out-licensed to ArriVent Biopharma, which launched in 2021. The biotech is currently testing the drug in a Phase Ib trial in patients with advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with EGFR or HER2 mutations.
The deal calls for Allist to develop, manufacture and sell ABK3376 in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, though Allist has a “time-limited option” to expand its rights worldwide. The amount of time that Allist has to make that option is undisclosed.
Founded in 2016, Abbisko attracted VC investment from Qiming Venture Partners in 2019, when the prominent firm led the biotech’s Series B for $42 million.
The Shanghai biotech went public in Hong Kong back in 2021, raising $226 million after initially pricing on the Hong Kong Index for HK$12.46 a share. Several months later, Abbisko reached a deal with Eli Lilly, partnering up on co-developing candidates for cardiometabolic diseases in early 2022.
The deal gave Abbisko the opportunity to secure up to $258 million in milestones.