OSAKA, Japan & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Takeda (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) today announced that it has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with HUTCHMED (China) Limited (Nasdaq/AIM: HCM, HKEX: 13) and its subsidiary HUTCHMED Limited, for the further development and commercialization of fruquintinib outside of mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.
Approved in China in 2018, fruquintinib is a highly selective and potent inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFR) -1, 2 and 3. Fruquintinib is orally administered and has the potential to be used across subtypes of refractory metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC), regardless of biomarker status.
“Fruquintinib has the potential to change the treatment landscape for patients with refractory metastatic CRC who are in need of additional treatment options. We look forward to utilizing our development and commercial capabilities to expand the potential of this innovative medicine to patients beyond China,” said Teresa Bitetti, President of the Global Oncology Business Unit at Takeda. “We have a strong track record of working with companies that share our focus on bringing transformative medicines to patients around the globe who need them. Working with HUTCHMED will enable us to expand our oncology portfolio, bringing us one step closer to achieving our aspiration to cure cancer.”
Takeda is committed to oncology and developing new medicines for cancer patients who have limited or ineffective treatment options. With a strong preclinical and clinical profile, fruquintinib offers a potential new treatment option for patients with refractory metastatic CRC, supporting the shared goal of Takeda and HUTCHMED to improve the lives of those living with cancer worldwide.
“We are pleased to be partnering with a company that shares our mission to improve treatment outcomes for cancer patients and has the scale and expertise in global drug development and commercialization to advance fruquintinib globally outside of China,” said Dr. Weiguo Su, Executive Director, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of HUTCHMED. “We believe that fruquintinib has a very strong future and look forward to working with Takeda to unlock its potential.”
Positive results of FRESCO-2, the Phase 3 multi-regional clinical trial of fruquintinib in refractory metastatic CRC were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress in September 2022. FRESCO-2 met its primary endpoint of improving overall survival (OS) in patients with metastatic CRC and was generally well tolerated.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Fast Track designation for the development of fruquintinib for the treatment of patients with metastatic CRC in 2020. In December 2022, HUTCHMED initiated a rolling submission of a New Drug Application (NDA) for fruquintinib with the U.S. FDA, which is planned to be completed in the first half of 2023. This will be followed by planned submission of a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and a JNDA to the Japan Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA).
Under the terms of the agreement, Takeda will receive an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize fruquintinib in all indications and territories outside of mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. Subject to the terms of the agreement, Takeda will pay HUTCHMED $400 million upfront, up to $730 million in additional potential payments relating to regulatory, development and commercial sales milestones, as well as royalties on net sales. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including completion of antitrust reviews.
CRC is a cancer that starts in either the colon or rectum. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, CRC is the third most prevalent cancer worldwide, associated with 935,000 deaths in 2020. In the U.S., an estimated 155,000 patients were diagnosed with CRC and there were 54,000 deaths from the disease. In Europe, CRC was the second most common cancer in 2020 with approximately 520,000 new cases and 245,000 deaths. In Japan, CRC is the most common cancer with an estimated 148,000 new cases and 60,000 deaths in 2020. Although early-stage CRC can be surgically resected, metastatic CRC remains an area of high unmet need with poor outcomes and limited treatment options.
Fruquintinib is a highly selective and potent oral inhibitor of VEGFR-1, 2 and 3. VEGFR inhibitors play a pivotal role in blocking tumor angiogenesis. Fruquintinib was designed to improve kinase selectivity with the intention of minimizing off-target toxicities, improving tolerability and providing more consistent target coverage. Fruquintinib has been generally well tolerated in patients to date and is being investigated in combinations with other anti-cancer therapies.
About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE: 4502/NYSE: TAK) is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan, committed to discover and deliver life-transforming treatments, guided by our commitment to patients, our people and the planet. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Rare Genetics and Hematology, Neuroscience, and Gastroenterology (GI). We also make targeted R&D investments in Plasma-Derived Therapies and Vaccines. We are focusing on developing highly innovative medicines that contribute to making a difference in people’s lives by advancing the frontier of new treatment options and leveraging our enhanced collaborative R&D engine and capabilities to create a robust, modality-diverse pipeline. Our employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients and to working with our partners in health care in approximately 80 countries. For more information, visit https://www.takeda.com.