Sumitomo Dainippon beefs up oncology pipeline with $780M Tolero buyout

CEO Masayo Tada

CEO Masayo Tada

Japan’s Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma has stepped up with a $200 million down payment on its purchase of Salt Lake City-based Tolero Pharmaceuticals. There’s another $430 million set aside for development milestones plus up to $150 million in commercial payouts, bringing the total deal to $780 million.

Tolero has been at work building a case for its lead drug, the late-stage CDK9 inhibitor alvocidib, as a combination therapy suited to acute myeloid leukemia. By interfering with a mechanism involved in cell division and metastasis, Tolero believes their drug has potential to improve outcomes for a variety of cancers.

Sumitomo Dainippon plans to take on the Phase III program for alvocidib, as well as an ongoing Phase I study for an AXL kinase inhibitor and several preclinical efforts.

The Japanese company plans to keep the Tolero group together, operating out of Utah and continuing the research work in cancer as a subsidiary operation.

“As Tolero possesses a group of attractive development compounds, including alvocidib, we expect that this acquisition will help us to reinforce our oncology pipeline and achieve sustained growth of the Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Group after the expiry of the exclusivity period of our mainstay atypical antipsychotic Latuda,” says CEO Masayo Tada. “Now that Tolero’s high drug discovery abilities are on our side, we also expect to create a continuous flow of development compounds going forward.”

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