Telix Pharmaceuticals has signed a licensing agreement to obtain exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize radiolabeled forms of Eli Lilly and Company’s olaratumab antibody for the treatment and diagnosis of cancer.
Lilly originally developed olaratumab as a non-radiolabeled monoclonal antibody that acts on platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRα).
With the global license, Telix could reuse olaratumab as a targeting agent for cancer treatment and radiopharmaceutical imaging.
Under the agreement, Telix will pay $5 million (A$6.7 million) to Lilly for the exclusive license of the latter’s intellectual property related to the development of radiolabelled olaratumab.
Telix will have access to use the product in preclinical trials as well as in early phase clinical trials for the potential diagnosis and treatment of cancers in humans.
In addition, by achieving predefined development, regulatory and commercial goals, Lilly is entitled to receive up to $225 million (~A$301 million) in milestone payments from Telix, which will also pay royalties on net product sales.
Initially, Telix will focus on the development of the antibody for soft tissue sarcoma (STS), a rare form of cancer.
The agreement also offers Lilly the opportunity to obtain an exclusive license for a radiolabeled companion diagnostic developed by Telix.
If Lilly decides to exercise the option, the company will make a payment of $5 million (~A$6.7 million) to Telix. Additionally, Telix is eligible for up to $30 million (~A$40.1 million) in potential development milestone payments as well as royalty payments.
CEO and Managing Director of Telix Group, Dr. Christian Behrenbruch, said: “During our pre-transaction due diligence and research, we have identified that a radiolabeled version of olaratumab may be effective in patients with STS, especially since it is a cancer that is highly sensitive to radiation.
“We anticipate that early clinical translation with a radiolabeled olaratumab as an imaging agent may also provide valuable clinical insights into whether this asset has potential therapeutic efficacy, demonstrating the benefit of the “theranostic” approach. ” from Telix.”