Yuhan Corp., South Korea’s top pharmaceutical company by sales, announced Monday that it has signed a $1.25 billion worth deal with Janssen Biotech Inc. to license out its non-small cell lung cancer treatment candidate Lazertinib, news that sent its stock 30 percent higher.
Under the contract, Yuhan will receive $50 million for upfront payment and $1.2 billion in milestone payment from development to commercialization. The deal also includes double-digit royalties depending on sales after commercialization.
On Monday, shares of Yuhan soared 29.78 percent to close at 231,000 won. The mega drug deal news also lifted the bio segment hungry for news. Dongsung Pharmaceutical Co. shares jumped 10.38 percent to 25,000 won and Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co. shares gained 5.65 percent to 430,000 won. Pharmaceutical category on average gained 1.85 percent. Kosdaq-listed Optipharm Co. rose 13.68 percent to finish at 13,300 won.
The agreement will allow the American pharmaceutical giant to have exclusive rights to develop and commercialize Lazertinib in the global market excluding Korea where Yuhan has the rights.
The two companies also agreed to jointly conduct clinical trials for Lazertinib both in monotherapy and combination with other drugs. They will initiate the test in 2019.
The Lazertinib is a potent, highly mutant-selective and irreversible 3rd generation EGFR-TKI that is able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, the company said. It was given orally to Korean patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with acquired resistance to prior EGFR-TKI during the first and second stage clinical study. The company added Lazertinib was safe, well-tolerated and exhibits promising systemic and intracranial antitumor activities at multiple dose levels.
“Janssen boasting outstanding expertise in developing anticancer drugs would become our best strategic partner,” said Lee Jung-hee, president and chief executive of Yuhan. “With the partnership, we will accelerate development of the treatment to improve lives of lung cancer patients.”
By Kim Byung-ho and Choi Mira
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