– HMP acquires right to determine & conduct all future life cycle indication development of fruquintinib monotherapy as well as innovative combinations in China –
– HMP to assume all development costs of life cycle indications in China in return for an increase in both milestone and royalty payments from Lilly –
– HMP acquires potential future co-promotion rights for fruquintinib in China –
Shanghai: Thursday, December 20, 2018: Hutchison MediPharma (“HMP”), the Innovation Platform of Hutchison China MediTech (“Chi-Med”), today announces certain amendments (“2018 Amendment”) to the 2013 License and Collaboration Agreement (“2013 Agreement”) on fruquintinib with Lilly Shanghai an affiliate of Eli Lilly and Company (“Lilly”). The 2018 Amendment covers adjustments in the respective roles and responsibilities of HMP and Lilly, in China, for the development and commercialization of fruquintinib in the areas of future life cycle planning and development, collaborations for co-development of fruquintinib with other third-party anti-cancer agents as well as promotion and distribution rights of fruquintinib.
“Through this amendment, Chi-Med is stepping forward to take on greater responsibility in return for a broader role and a larger share of the future economic interest on fruquintinib,” commented Simon To, Chairman of Chi-Med. “Lilly has been and will continue to be a most important partner for Chi-Med in bringing fruquintinib to as broad a patient population as possible and we share a common goal to maximize the commercial success of fruquintinib in China.” He added, “The recent approval and launch of fruquintinib for colorectal cancer in China is an important first step on this journey.”
Fruquintinib Life Cycle Indications (“LCI”):
Under the terms of the 2013 Agreement, decision making on LCI development beyond the initial indications of third-line colorectal cancer (“CRC”), third-line non-small cell lung cancer (“NSCLC”) and second-line gastric cancer was controlled by Lilly. The majority of development costs for LCIs were to be paid by Lilly, with the minority by HMP.
The 2018 Amendment now gives HMP all planning, execution and decision making responsibilities for LCI development on fruquintinib in China. HMP will pay all of the costs associated with fruquintinib LCI development in China. In return for this investment of capital and resources, Lilly will pay HMP a $20 million milestone upon approval of each fruquintinib LCI in China, for up to three LCIs, totaling up to $60 million in LCI approval milestone payments. Furthermore, upon the launch of the first LCI, the tiered royalty structure, payable by Lilly to HMP on total molecule sales in China, has been raised from the range of 15-20% in the 2013 Agreement to a new level of 15-29% under the 2018 Amendment.
China commercial – Co-Promotion rights:
Under the terms of the 2013 Agreement, Lilly held full commercialization rights to fruquintinib in China.
The 2018 Amendment provides HMP the right to promote fruquintinib in provinces that represent 30% of the sales of fruquintinib in China (“Chi-Med Territory”) upon the occurrence of certain commercial milestones. The Chi-Med Territory will expand to provinces that represent 40% of the sales of fruquintinib in China subject to additional criteria being met. Lilly will pay HMP a fee for service to conduct all promotional activities in the Chi-Med Territory.
Lilly has provided consent, and freedom to operate, for HMP to enter into joint development collaborations with certain third-party pharmaceutical companies to explore combination treatments of fruquintinib and various immunotherapy agents. The first such collaborations with Innovent Biologics (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. (“Innovent”) and Genor Biopharma Co. Ltd. (“Genor”) will explore the combination of fruquintinib and their respective programmed cell death protein-1 (“PD-1”) antibodies, sintilimab (IBI308) and genolimzumab (GB226), in several solid tumor settings.
Fruquintinib (brand name: Elunate®) is a small molecule, selective and highly potent inhibitor of VEGFR 1, 2 and 3. VEGFR inhibitors play a pivotal role in tumor-related angiogenesis, cutting off the blood supply that a tumor needs to grow rapidly. The global market for anti-angiogenesis therapies was estimated at over $18 billion in 2017, including both monoclonal antibodies and small molecules approved in around 30 tumor settings. During the discovery research process, which began at Chi-Med in 2007, fruquintinib was successfully designed to be differentiated by improving kinase selectivity in comparison to other approved small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), to minimize off-target toxicities, improve tolerability and provide more consistent target coverage, resulting in better clinical efficacy.
The superior tolerability, along with fruquintinib’s low potential for drug-drug interaction based on preclinical assessment, suggests that it may be highly suitable for innovative combinations with other anti-cancer therapies. The most common adverse reactions included hypertension, hand-foot syndrome and proteinuria. Clinically effective management of these adverse effects is feasible. For important safety information about fruquintinib, please see www.chi-med.com.
About Other Fruquintinib Development Programs
Phase I monotherapy in the U.S.: In December 2017, Chi-Med initiated a multi-center, open-label, Phase I clinical study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of fruquintinib in U.S. patients with advanced solid tumors (clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT03251378). This study is almost complete, and proof-of-concept (“POC”) studies are expected to begin in 2019.
PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor combination: It is an important part of Chi-Med’s strategy to explore the potential synergies of its drug candidates in combination with other anti-cancer treatments in several solid tumor settings. In November 2018, Chi-Med entered into a global collaboration agreement to evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of fruquintinib in combination with sintilimab (IBI308), a PD-1 inhibitor being developed by Innovent.
CRC in China: The National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) approved the first New Drug Application (“NDA”) for fruquintinib for the treatment of patients with advanced CRC in September 2018. The NDA is supported by data from the successful FRESCO study, a Phase III pivotal registration trial of fruquintinib in 416 patients with CRC in China, which was highlighted in an oral presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting held on June 5, 2017 and was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, in June 2018 (clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT02314819).
Gastric cancer in China: In October 2017, HMP initiated a pivotal Phase III clinical trial of fruquintinib in combination with Taxol® (paclitaxel), known as the FRUTIGA study, in approximately 500 patients with advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma who have progressed after first-line standard chemotherapy (clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT03223376). An interim analysis on FRUTIGA, to establish POC, is anticipated during the first half of 2019 and if successful could trigger a POC milestone payment from Lilly. The FRUTIGA study followed a Phase I/II clinical trial in 34 patients with gastric cancer that demonstrated that combination therapy of fruquintinib and Taxol® was generally well-tolerated with promising tumor response (clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT02415023).
Lung cancer in China: The FALUCA trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center, Phase III registration study targeted at treating patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC, who have failed two lines of systemic chemotherapy. 527 patients were randomized at a 2:1 ratio to receive either: 5mg of fruquintinib orally once per day, on a three-weeks-on / one-week-off cycle, plus best supportive care (“BSC”); or placebo plus BSC. On November 16, 2018, HMP announced that FALUCA did not meet the primary endpoint to demonstrate a statistically significant increase in overall survival (OS) compared to placebo, however the data did show statistically significant improvement in all secondary endpoints including progression free survival (PFS), objective response rate (ORR), disease control rate (DCR) and duration of response (DoR) as compared to the placebo. The safety profile of the trial was in line with that observed in prior clinical studies. Full detailed results are expected to be disclosed at an upcoming scientific meeting. Additional details about this study can be found at clinicaltrials.gov, using identifier NCT02691299.
Along with FALUCA, fruquintinib is concurrently being studied in a Phase II study in combination with Iressa® (gefitinib) in patients with untreated advanced or metastatic NSCLC (clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT02976116). Preliminary results were highlighted in an oral presentation at the 18th World Conference on Lung Cancer on October 16, 2017.
PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor combination: In October 2018, HMP entered into a further collaboration in China to evaluate the combination of fruquintinib with genolimzumab (GB226), a PD-1 inhibitor being developed by Genor.