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pharmiweb.com today | 13 December 2017

Almirall and Athenex announce strategic partnership for the treatment of actinic keratosis

Almirall, S.A (ALM), a global skin-health focused pharmaceutical company, today announced an agreement with Athenex, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATNX), a global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies for the treatment of cancer and related conditions, to further develop and commercialize KX2-391 for the treatment of actinic keratosis and other skin conditions....

Subject to the terms and conditions of the License Agreement, Athenex will grant to Almirall an exclusive license under the Athenex IP to research, develop and commercialize KX2-391 in the United States of America and European countries, including Russia.

KX2-391, also known as KX-01, is a first-in-class dual Src kinase and tubulin polymerization inhibitor in Phase III development as a topical medicinal product for the treatment of actinic keratosis. Actinic keratosis is a common skin condition that is induced through ultra-violet light damage, resulting in patches of thick, scaly, or crusty skin. Left untreated, the lesions have risk of progression to squamous cell carcinoma and consequently treatment by a dermatologist is recommended. Actinic keratosis is the most common pre-cancerous condition in dermatology and it affects more than 55 million Americans. Actinic keratosis constitutes between 14-29% of dermatologist visits in the USA1.

Under the terms of the partnership agreement, Athenex will receive an up-front fee and near-term payments of up to USD $55 million. Athenex will also be eligible to receive launch and additional indications milestones for USD $65 million. In addition, there will be sales performance milestones of KX2-391 estimated to be USD $155 million. Almirall will reward Athenex with additional sales milestones, should the sales exceed the currently projected amounts. In addition, there will be tiered royalties starting at 15% based on annual net sales, with incremental increases in royalty rates with increased sales.

Athenex will be responsible for conducting all preclinical and clinical studies up to US FDA approval. Almirall will employ its expertise to support the development in Europe and also to commercialize the product in the licensed territories. Milestones encourage the joint effort of Athenex and Almirall to develop additional indications and additional formulations.

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