Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) and Onconova Therapeutics, Inc. today announced that they have entered into a European licensing agreement for rigosertib, a novel targeted anti-cancer compound currently in a Phase III study for the treatment of a group of rare hematologic malignancies called Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) and in a Phase II/III study for pancreatic cancer.
Under the terms of the agreement, Baxter will obtain commercialization rights in the European Union and other countries in Europe. Baxter will make an upfront payment of $50 million to Onconova, which will be recorded as a special pre-tax in-process research and development charge in the third quarter of 2012. In addition, Onconova may receive up to $515 million in pre-commercial development and regulatory milestones for the MDS and pancreatic cancer indications, in addition to sales milestones and royalties. Baxter has the option to participate in the development and commercialization of rigosertib in additional indications. Baxter has an existing equity investment with Onconova of $50 million.
''Rigosertib’s first anticipated indication would be a natural complement to Baxter’s existing treatments for patients managing rare hematologic conditions, and will allow us to expand the product portfolio of our existing hematologic sales force,'' said Ludwig Hantson, Ph.D., president of Baxter’s BioScience business. ''Our collaboration with Onconova will allow us to further expand our pipeline and extend our legacy in disease areas with critical needs.''
Baxter recently announced that it has begun dosing patients with malignant solid tumors in a Phase I clinical trial of an anti-MIF antibody. Both programs are part of Baxter’s expansion into oncology treatments, through a research and development initiative that builds on the company’s expertise in treating patients with life-threatening medical conditions. Baxter’s current oncology portfolio includes chemotherapeutic agents used alone or in combination with other products to treat cancers such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, as well as anti-emetic products designed to relieve the side effects of cancer therapeutics.