Verastem, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSTM) and Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:INFI), today announced that the companies entered into a license agreement under which Verastem licensed exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize Infinity's oncology product candidate duvelisib. Duvelisib is an oral inhibitor of phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)-delta and PI3K-gamma being investigated for the treatment of hematologic cancers, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (iNHL) and T cell lymphomas. Verastem will pay to Infinity up to $28 million in milestones, with positive data from DUO®, a Phase 3, randomized monotherapy study of duvelisib in patients with relapsed/refractory CLL, triggering the first milestone payment, and royalties on net sales. "Duvelisib is a clinically validated, late-stage product candidate with a proven mechanism of action. This transaction has an attractive risk/reward profile given the modest financial investment prior to obtaining topline data from the DUO study, currently anticipated in the first half of 2017, as well as the potential applications for a variety of other lymphoid malignancies," said Robert Forrester, President and Chief Executive Officer of Verastem. "Duvelisib complements Verastem's oncology pipeline by augmenting our strategic focus of developing small molecule agents that target malignant cells both directly and through modulation of the tumor microenvironment. This transaction represents a positive step toward our goal of bringing new treatment options to patients with cancer. We are working closely with Infinity to ensure a smooth transition of the duvelisib program." "The potential of duvelisib is supported by clinical data demonstrating anti-cancer activity and a manageable safety profile in a wide range of lymphoid malignancies, including relapsed/refractory iNHL, CLL and T cell lymphomas," said Gregory I. Berk, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Verastem. "While there have been significant advances recently in the treatment of lymphoid malignancies, not all patients experience benefits or can tolerate these treatments. There remains a need for new oral medicines, and the targeted inhibition of PI3K-delta and PI3K-gamma brings a unique approach designed to address both the malignant B cell and its supportive microenvironment. We look forward to reporting data from the DUO study, which could enable a submission for regulatory approval."