Monday, 14 October 2019

Taiho Pharma teams up with Cullinan Oncology

05 February 2019 | News

Under the terms of the agreement, Taiho Pharmaceutical will grant an exclusive, global license ex-Japan for the development and commercialization of TAS6417 to Cullinan Pearl, a newly formed US-based company under the Cullinan Oncology umbrella.

Taiho Pharmaceutical and Cullinan Oncology, LLC announced an agreement to develop TAS6417, a novel EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) tyrosine kinase inhibitor discovered by Taiho Pharmaceutical.

Under the terms of the agreement, Taiho Pharmaceutical will grant an exclusive, global license ex-Japan for the development and commercialization of TAS6417 to Cullinan Pearl, a newly formed US-based company under the Cullinan Oncology umbrella. Taiho Pharmaceutical will receive an upfront payment, regulatory and sales milestones, as well as royalties based on net sales. Taiho Ventures, LLC, a strategic corporate venture arm of Taiho Pharmaceutical, alongside Cullinan Oncology, will provide funding for Cullinan Pearl's Series A.

"The Taiho's drug research team created a unique molecule targeting EGFR Exon 20 insertion mutation using proprietary drug discovery platform technology. This alliance, one of the first of its kind at Taiho Pharmaceutical, allows our organization to optimize its R&D resource allocation and accelerate global development by accessing external talent and resources. We are pleased to partner with Cullinan Oncology and its experienced management team in bringing this novel treatment to NSCLC patients," said Teruhiro Utsugi, Managing Director of Taiho Pharmaceutical.

Cullinan Pearl will utilize Cullinan Oncology's shared service platform to develop TAS6417, which relies on a central management team and a network of integrated collaborators to help drive the development of pre-clinical and clinical assets. 

"We are excited to partner with Taiho Pharmaceutical and Taiho Ventures in exploring the utility of this novel drug in a patient population with limited options to date. We are thankful for Taiho's trust in our team's ability to execute the clinical development of this exciting asset," stated Owen Hughes, CEO of Cullinan Oncology.

TAS6417 is an orally available tyrosine kinase inhibitor designed to target activating mutations in EGFR. The molecule was engineered to inhibit EGFR variants with exon 20 insertion mutations, while sparing wild-type EGFR. TAS6417 is a clinical candidate for NSCLC driven by EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations and is expected to be a novel therapeutic option for the patients with highly unmet medical needs.

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