On January 21, 2015, Aurigene entered into an exclusive collaboration agreement focused on immuno-oncology and selected precision oncology targets with Curis, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRIS), a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative drug candidates for the treatment of human cancers.
The collaboration is an option agreement where Curis can license-in compounds once a development candidate is nominated within each respective program. Under the terms of partnership, Aurigene has the responsibility for conducting all discovery and preclinical activities, including IND-enabling studies and providing Phase 1 clinical trial supply and Curis is responsible for all clinical development, regulatory and commercialization efforts worldwide, excluding India and Russia.
The first two programs under the collaboration are an orally available small molecule antagonist of programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) and V-domain Ig suppressor of T cell activation (VISTA) in the immuno-oncology field, and an orally available, small molecule inhibitor of Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 (IRAK4) in the precision oncology field.
The financial terms of the agreement included cash plus stock transaction where Aurigene received 17.1 million shares of Curis’ common stock and is entitled to milestone payments based on the success of the programs as well as tiered sales based royalties. Additional details of the collaboration can be found here.
In October 2015, Curis exercised its options and licensed the IRAK4 and the PD-L1/VISTA small molecule programs and Aurigene received payments towards exercise of these options.
In September 2016, Aurigene invested $24.5 M in Curis by purchasing common stock by waiving certain milestone payments under the terms of collaboration. More details can be found here.
On Jan 9, 2017 Curis announced that it has exercised its option to extend the exclusivity period with Aurigene for another year, under the collaboration agreement established in January, 2015. More details can be found here.
Immuno-Oncology Pipeline Updates
On June 21, 2016 Curis announced the dosing of the first patient in the Phase 1 trial of CA-170.
In October 2016, Curis expanded the collaboration by exercising the option to license CA-327, a dual checkpoint antagonist targeting PD-L1 & TIM-3.
On Nov 9, 2016 Curis announced presentation of early PK and biomarker data from CA-170 program at Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s (SITC) 31st annual meeting. More details can be found here.
On Sep 11, 2017 Curis and Aurigene announce CA-170 program update following data presented at ESMO 2017. More details can be found here.
Precision Oncology Pipeline Updates
On Jan 17, 2018, Curis Announced Initiation of Phase 1 Trial of CA-4948, a Small Molecule Inhibitor of IRAK4 Kinase in Patients with Lymphoma. More details can be found here.
On June 24, 2014, Aurigene entered into an Option and Research & Collaboration Agreement with Orion Corporation for rights to Aurigene’s Pan BET and Selective BET Bromodomain inhibitors program.
Under the terms of the Option agreement, Aurigene will receive an upfront payment from Orion, followed by a licensing fee, milestones and royalties upon exercising the option at the Candidate selection stage for the BET inhibitors. Orion will collaborate with Aurigene and fund the selective BET program at Aurigene, with Aurigene being eligible for development phase milestones and royalties.
About BET Bromodomain Program:
Aurigene has been working in the Bromodomain space, for development of pan-BET and selective BET therapeutics, for over 2 years now. Aurigene’s BET inhibitors, developed from a novel chemotype, have demonstrated a unique binding mode leading to a differentiated pharmacological profile that may offer a superior therapeutic window. Selective BET inhibitors under development at Aurigene will be profiled extensively in oncology and other potential indications.
On April 27, 2017, Aurigene entered into a global license agreement to research, develop and commercialize small molecule inhibitors of an undisclosed cancer metabolism target.
Under the terms of the agreement, Aurigene will provide Agios exclusive rights to its portfolio of novel small molecules for the undisclosed target. Financial terms of the agreement include a $3 million upfront payment and potential future milestone payments of up to $17 million per licensed product if certain development and regulatory milestones are achieved by Agios. Aurigene is also eligible to receive low single-digit royalties on product sales. Agios will conduct preclinical studies and, if successful, fund further global research and development, as well as regulatory and commercial activities.
On Jan 8, 2018, Agios announced key priorities for 2018 at the JPM Healthcare conference. As part of these updates, Agios annpunced its plans to submit an IND for an inhibitor of the metabolic enzyme dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) for the treatment of hematologic malignancies in the fourth quarter of 2018. More details can be found here.