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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

First-in-class oncology drug candidate licensed by Aussie pharma

Health Industry Hub | April 21, 2021 |

Pharma News: An Australian oncology-focused drug development company entered into a worldwide exclusive licensing agreement and a master services agreement with Evotec, a leading European drug company, to develop, manufacture, and commercialise EVT801, a small-molecule, first-in-class oncology drug candidate.

EVT801 was originally discovered by Sanofi and was developed through a partnership between Sanofi and Evotec.

Kazia CEO, Dr James Garner, commented “We are delighted to add this tremendously exciting new compound to the Kazia pipeline. Evotec have done first-class work in the early development of EVT801, and the preclinical data package is exceptionally strong. We intend to fast track a phase I clinical trial of the drug, which we expect to commence in CY2021.”

He added, “As we have built Kazia over the past five years, our strategy has been to assemble a portfolio of world-class development candidates through in-licensing. The EVT801 transaction is wholly consistent with that strategy. We have demonstrated, through the paxalisib program, our ability to add value to a development candidate, and we intend to similarly accelerate EVT801 via a rich and innovative development program.”

EVT801 is a small molecule inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 (VEGFR3) and is administered orally.

It is hoped that administration of EVT801 may help to sensitise tumours to immuno-oncology therapies such as MSD’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) and thereby extend their use.

Kazia expects to launch a phase I clinical trial in CY2021. The initial exploratory indications for EVT801 include renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer), hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) and soft tissue sarcoma.

Under the terms of the agreement, Kazia will pay Evotec an upfront of €1 million (AU$ 1.6 million), contingent milestones of up to €308 million (AU$ 480 million) related to achievement of clinical, regulatory, and commercial outcomes over the lifetime of the drug, and a tiered single-digit royalty on net sales.


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