Verastem’s Copiktra Breaks Into China With New Licensing Deal

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Verastem Inc. (NASDAQ: VSTM) shares saw a handy gain on Wednesday after the company set an exclusive licensing agreement with CSPC Pharmaceutical, a leading pharmaceutical company in China. The deal is to develop and commercialize Verastem’s Copiktra (duvelisib).

Copiktra previously received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma.

Under the terms of the agreement, Verastem shall receive an upfront payment of $15 million. Verastem is also entitled to receive additional development milestone payments of $30 million, plus potential sales milestone payments and double-digit percentage royalties based on future net sales of Copiktra in China.

As for CSPC, it will receive exclusive rights to develop and commercialize Copiktra and hold the marketing authorization and product license for it in China. CSPC will have the right to collaborate with Verastem on certain global development and clinical trial activities and will share pro-rata in the cost.

Cai Dongchen, chair of CSPC, commented:

This agreement with Verastem Oncology brings to our pipeline an overseas approved innovative oncology drug with the potential to help Chinese patients battling cancer, including some high unmet need hematologic malignancies. Our long-standing development and commercial experience in the Chinese pharmaceutical market, together with Verastem Oncology’s expertise with COPIKTRA, will ensure the timely and efficient development of this exciting therapy. At CSPC, we are dedicated to developing and commercializing innovative medicines and we are honored to form this strategic alliance with Verastem Oncology to advance COPIKTRA.

Shares of Verastem were last seen up over 3% at $7.41, with a consensus analyst price target of $15.79 and a 52-week range of $2.77 to $10.35.