South Korea’s Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co. faces another setback in its plan to go global, reporting that it was scaling down a landmark deal signed in November last year with French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi S.A. to co-develop three new diabetes drugs.
The leading Korean drug developer said on Thursday Hanmi Pharma and Sanofi agreed to remove one candidate drug from their original license deal aimed at developing three investigational diabetes drugs in Hanmi’s pipeline under the so-called Quantum Project - efpeglenatide, a once-monthly GLP-1 family drug; LAPS Insulin 115, a once-weekly insulin formulation; and LAPS Insulin Combo, the combination of LAPS Insulin115 and efpeglenatide.
Following the revision, the Korean drugmaker will exclude the once-weekly insulin agent from the co-development plan. The company said the latest decision was made after taking into consideration of market competition and development environments, as well as the global trend preferring combination agents over monotherapy agents in the diabetes market.
Accordingly, Hanmi Pharma will return 196 million euros ($250 million), nearly half of its original upfront payment, to Sanofi by December 2018. Commercial milestone payments to be paid by Sanofi will also be cut down to up to 2.72 billion euros. Under the original contract, Hanmi Pharm has received an upfront payment of 400 million euros, with eligibility for up to 3.5 billion euros in development, registration and sales milestones, as well as double-digit royalties on net sales.
The latest decision comes after another global drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim in September decided to return the exclusive license of Olmutinib (HM61713), a lung cancer treatment candidate, to the Korean drug maker. Hanmi Pharma was originally eligible to receive $730 million from the deal.
The Korean pharmaceutical company said it and Sanofi agreed to revise their term to ensure that Sanofi will further focus on developing efpeglenatide, which is close to commercial release, while Hanmi Pharm will focus on the once-weekly combination agent.
Hanmi Pharm plunged 10.4 percent, or 35,500 won, to end at 305,500 won on Thursday.
By Shin Chan-ok
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