Starpharma announced the signing of a licensing agreement with global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The agreement enables the development and commercialization by AstraZeneca of compounds directed at a defined family of targets using Starpharma’s DEP drug delivery technology, which centers on Starpharma’s proprietary dendrimers that aim to enhance the dosing and efficacy characteristics of pharmaceuticals.
Under the agreement, Starpharma is eligible to receive signature and milestone payments on one or more of AstraZeneca DEP products if they progress through the development pipeline, and milestone and royalty payments on any net sales of the resultant products. AstraZeneca will fund all development and commercialization costs under the agreement, including ongoing and future collaborative work conducted with Starpharma.
Starpharma’s other programs, including the company’s wholly-owned DEP docetaxel product, are not negatively impacted by this arrangement.
A signature payment of $2 million became payable on execution of the agreement. For the initial product, development and launch milestones could total up to $64 million, and sales milestones based on specified annual sales levels could total up to $60 million. The license agreement allows for additional products to be incorporated, with development and regulatory milestone payments of up to $53.3 million and potential sales milestones based on specified annual sales levels for qualifying additional products could total up to $40 million. Any AstraZeneca DEP ® products would also attract tiered royalties on net sales.
“We estimate that each qualifying product successfully commercialized under this agreement could be worth, over its life, around $450 million to Starpharma and, depending on the range of indications and degree of commercial success in the market, potentially significantly more,” stated Dr Jackie Fairley, Starpharma Chief Executive Officer.
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths in 2012. The number of new cases is expected to rise by about 70 percent over the next two decades. The global market for cancer drugs has reached $100 billion in annual sales, and could reach $147 billion by 2018, according to a new report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, a unit of drug data provider, IMS Health.