Lupin, Boehringer Ingelheim ink $700-mn deal for anti-cancer drug

Lupin has tied up with Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim to develop a novel cancer drug that will potentially earn it over $700 million in milestone-based payments and royalties.

The drug will be developed by combining the targeted oncology molecules of the two companies and will be first-of-its-kind treatment for certain types of lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancers. 

Under the agreement, Lupin will receive an upfront payment of $20 million and an additional $700 million milestone-based payment on successful completion of clinical trials and double-digit royalties on sales. Lupin will also get the marketing rights for the drug in India, while Boehringer Ingelheim will hold the rights to all other markets.

This is the second such drug development tie-up by Lupin in nine months. Last December, the company tied up with US drugmaker AbbVie to develop novel blood cancer drug with an earning potential of over $1 billion. “With the success of our second new drug discovery programme in oncology, we have made a significant mark in bringing novel treatments to patients.  We are proud of the achievements of our team and the capabilities we have built, which enable us to further our new drug discovery programme,” said Lupin’s Managing Director Nilesh Gupta. He added that 10-15 per cent of the company’s R&D spend goes to drug discovery programmes.

Lupin’s under-discovery drug has successfully cleared Phase I clinical trial. The combined trials of the new drug will be carried out in Europe and other parts of the world, said Raj Kamboj, president of Lupin’s novel drug discovery and development portfolio.

Lupin’s partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim has a strategic goal to focus on patients with cancers defined by KRAS mutations. KRAS is a protein that regulates cell growth and its mutation can result in uncontrolled cell growth leading to cancer. KRAS mutations occur in 1 in 7 of all human metastatic cancers, the companies said on Wednesday.

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