RedHill Biopharma Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: RDHL) has signed a binding exclusive option agreement to buy oncology drug candidate RP101 from German Biotech company RESprotect GmbH.
Under the agreement, RedHill has the option to acquire the worldwide exclusive rights to RP101 for all indications (other than to the pancreatic cancer indication in South Korea). RedHill has agreed to pay RESprotect for a one year option, with an option to extend. During the option period, RedHill may conduct development activities with RP101. If RedHill elects to exercise the option, it will acquire the exclusive rights to RP101 for $100,000, and potential milestone payments and tiered royalties.
RP101 is an orally administered, patent-protected small molecule that binds to Hsp27, a chaperone protein that is found in abnormally high levels in cancer cells, and inhibits its activity. The overexpression of Hsp27 has been linked to tumor resistance to cytotoxic drugs and the development of metastasis. By inhibiting Hsp27, RP101 may prevent resistance to chemotherapy and enhance the sensitivity of tumors to chemotherapy, thus potentially enhancing patient survival. RP101 has completed several clinical trials, including Phase II trials in pancreatic cancer. RP101 has been granted Orphan Drug designation for the adjunct treatment of pancreatic cancer by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
RedHill CEO Dror Ben-Asher said, "Today’s acquisition of an option for the Hsp27 inhibitor RP101 reflects RedHill’s increasing strategic focus on new, clinical-stage, orally-administered treatments for patients suffering from gastrointestinal and inflammatory diseases, including pancreatic cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers, where there is a particularly strong need for better therapeutic options.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 14, 2014
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