AstraZeneca Enters Collaboration with Daiichi Sankyo For a Promising Cancer Drug Candidate

06:33 03/31/2019

London-based AstraZeneca AZN  has announced that it has acquired joint development and commercialization rights to a promising cancer candidate from Japan's Daiichi Sankyo.

The two have entered a collaboration for novel HER2-targeting antibody-drug conjugate. The agreement is for trastuzumab deruxtecan (DS-8201), a proprietary antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) and potential new targeted medicine for cancer treatment.

Trastuzumab deruxtecan (DS-8201; [fam-] trastuzumab deruxtecan in US only) is the lead potential new medicine in the ADC franchise of the Daiichi Sankyo Cancer Enterprise. ADCs are targeted cancer medicines that deliver cytotoxic agents to cancer cells via a linker attached to a monoclonal antibody that binds to a specific target expressed on cancer cells.

As part of the deal, AZN will be paying as much as $6.9 billion to Daiichi Sankyo of Japan. The former will make an upfront payment of $1.35 billion while being entitled to make contingent payments, comprising regulatory and sales related milestone fees of up to $5.55 billion

AZN and Daiichi Sankyo will be developing and commercializing Daiichi Sankyo’s proprietary antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) trastuzumab deruxtecan. Both claim that it has the potential to redefine the standard of care in cancer treatment.

According to AZN's press release, the companies will jointly develop and commercialize trastuzumab deruxtecan worldwide, except in Japan where Daiichi Sankyo will maintain exclusive rights. Daiichi Sankyo will be solely responsible for manufacturing and supply.
Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We believe that trastuzumab deruxtecan could become a transformative new medicine for the treatment of HER2-positive breast and gastric cancers. In addition, it has the potential to redefine breast cancer treatment as the first therapy for HER2-low expressing tumours. It also has the potential to treat other HER2-mutated or HER2-overexpressing cancers, including lung and colorectal cancers. We are proud to be working with Daiichi Sankyo, a long-term collaborator of AstraZeneca in other disease areas.”

George Nakayama, Representative Director, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Daiichi Sankyo, stated, “Trastuzumab deruxtecan is the flagship asset in our oncology pipeline created by our relentless pursuit of science and technology, the most important strengths of our company. Through the strategic collaboration with AstraZeneca, a company with a wealth of global experience and expertise in oncology, we will combine our respective skill sets to maximise the value of trastuzumab deruxtecan and accelerate the establishment of our global oncology business. By aiming to provide new treatment options across a wide range of cancers as soon as possible, we will maximise our contribution to patients with cancer and their families around the world.”


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