Ayala signs licensing deal with Novartis for blood cancer drug

Roni Mamluk

The Israeli company, which develops medicines for cancers that are genetically identified, will receive $10 million and milestone payments for AL102 for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

Israeli clinical-stage cancer drug development company Ayala Pharmaceuticals Inc. has entered into an option to license agreement with Novartis for its investigational agent AL102 in multiple myeloma. Under the terms of the deal, Ayala will receive a $10 million equity investment from Novartis and is eligible to receive development, clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones along with tiered royalties on net sales of AL102.

Based in Rehovot, Ayala Pharmaceuticals develops medicines for cancers that are genetically identified.

Novartis will conduct studies to evaluate AL102 in combination with its B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) therapies in multiple myeloma. Ayala will provide the drug supply. All development costs will be fully born by Novartis while Ayala retains worldwide license rights for AL102 for all other indications.

In april, Ayala raised $17 million in a Series A financing round led by the Israel Biotech Fund and with the participation of aMoon and Harel Insurance & Finance. The company was founded last year to develop two cancer treatment candidates of Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), which is also a shareholder in the company.

Ayala CEO Roni Mamluk said, “We are extremely pleased to enter this agreement with Novartis on AL102. Novartis has a strong commitment and expertise in oncology, and a proven record of success in drug development, making them an ideal strategic partner for AL102 in multiple myeloma. This collaboration is important to Ayala as it immediately strengthens our balance sheet, further validates our technology and accelerates the clinical development of AL102 as a combination therapy in hematologic cancers.”

AL102 is an oral small-molecule that inhibits gamma secretase, an enzyme which may be targeted to increase levels of BCMA, which is expressed in most multiple myeloma patients.

Ayala is committed to developing new targeted therapies for genomically-defined cancers in patient populations with high unmet medical need. In addition to investigating AL102 as an anti-BMCA therapy in multiple myeloma, Ayala is evaluating AL102 as an inhibitor of the Notch pathway in other hematologic cancers.

Multiple myeloma is a rare and aggressive blood cancer that accounts for approximately one percent of all cancers. In the US, there are nearly 90,000 people living with, or in remission from, multiple myeloma and 26,850 Americans are diagnosed with multiple myeloma each year and 11,240 patient deaths are reported on an annual basis.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 23, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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