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27 July, 2020 - 09:37 By Tony Quested

AstraZeneca agrees potential $6bn oncology deal with Daiichi Sankyo

Cambridge UK Big Biotech AstraZeneca has slated a deal that could stack up to $6 billion with Daiichi Sankyo, Japan’s second largest Big Pharma company, to transform treatment standards in lung, breast and multiple other cancers.

AstraZeneca now has six potential blockbuster oncology drugs in its portfolio with the promise of more to come.

The collaboration focuses on DS-1062, Daiichi Sankyo's proprietary  antibody drug conjugate to create a potential new medicine for the treatment of multiple tumour types.

DS-1062 is currently in development for the treatment of multiple tumours that commonly express the cell-surface glycoprotein TROP2. 

Among them, TROP2 is overexpressed in the majority of non-small cell lung cancers and breast cancers, tumour types that have long been a strategic focus for AstraZeneca. 

This collaboration reflects AstraZeneca's strategy to invest in antibody drug conjugates as a class, the innovative nature of the technology and the successful existing collaboration with Daiichi Sankyo.

AstraZeneca will pay Daiichi Sankyo an upfront payment of $1bn in staged payments: $350m is due upon completion, with $325m after 12 months and $325m after 24 months from the effective date of the agreement.

AstraZeneca will pay additional conditional amounts of up to $1bn for the successful achievement of regulatory approvals and up to $4bn for sales-related milestones.

Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer, said: “We see significant potential in this antibody drug conjugate in lung as well as in breast and other cancers that commonly express TROP2. 

“We are delighted to enter this new collaboration with Daiichi Sankyo and to build on the successful launch of Enhertu to further expand our pipeline and leadership in oncology. We now have six potential blockbusters in oncology with more to come in our early and late pipelines.”

In a separate deal, AstraZeneca's Imfinzi (durvalumab) has been recommended for marketing authorisation in the European Union for the first-line treatment of adults with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer in combination with a choice of chemotherapies.

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency based its positive opinion on results from the Phase III CASPIAN trial for Imfinzi plus chemotherapy, which have also been published in The Lancet.

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