Exelixis and Aurigene Enter Into Exclusive Collaboration, Option and License Agreement to Discover and Develop Novel Therapies for Cancer
ALAMEDA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Exelixis, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXEL) today announced that it has entered into an exclusive collaboration, option and license agreement with Aurigene Discovery Technologies Limited (Aurigene), the India-based discovery biotechnology company focused on oncology and inflammatory disorders. The agreement allows Exelixis to in-license as many as six programs from Aurigene, which has developed a focused approach to drug discovery that targets differentiated first-in-class and best-in-class opportunities with unique mechanisms of action. The deal is part of Exelixis’ ongoing strategy to build an innovative pipeline behind the company’s internally discovered, commercially available therapies, including its flagship product, CABOMETYX® (cabozantinib).
Under the terms of the agreement, Exelixis will make an upfront payment of $10 million for exclusive options to license three preexisting programs from Aurigene. Also, Exelixis and Aurigene will initiate three Aurigene-led drug discovery programs on mutually agreed upon targets, in exchange for additional option payments of $2.5 million per program. Exelixis will also contribute research funding to Aurigene to facilitate discovery and preclinical development work on all six programs. As the programs mature, Exelixis will have the opportunity to exercise an exclusive option for each program up until the time of Investigational New Drug (IND) acceptance. If Exelixis decides to exercise an option, it will make an option exercise payment to Aurigene and assume responsibility for that program’s future clinical development and commercialization including global manufacturing. Aurigene will be eligible for clinical development, regulatory, and sales milestones, as well as royalties on sales. Under the terms of the agreement, Aurigene retains limited development and commercial rights for India and Russia.
“Aurigene has a proven track record in discovery collaborations with 14 partnered programs currently in clinical trials, including 10 trials in the United States,” said Peter Lamb, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Scientific Strategy and Chief Scientific Officer of Exelixis. “Our collaboration has the potential to enhance Exelixis’ early-stage pipeline with promising therapeutic candidates while mitigating financial risk for Exelixis through a success-based payment structure. Aurigene’s small molecule discovery expertise complements our internal discovery capabilities and gives us access to an expanded range of targets and mechanisms, including covalent inhibition and induced protein degradation. We’re excited to start working with Aurigene and are hopeful that our partnership will result in multiple clinical-stage compounds and, eventually, therapies that may benefit patients with cancer.”
“Aurigene has deep expertise exploring novel mechanisms of action for discovering new, effective treatments for patients with cancer,” said Murali Ramachandra, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Aurigene. “Exelixis’ demonstrated success in bringing oncology therapies to market, as well as its legacy of drug discovery expertise, make it a natural partner for Aurigene. We look forward to combining these complementary skills to drive potential new therapies for the patients that need them.”
Aurigene is a development-stage biotech company engaged in the discovery and clinical development of novel and best-in-class therapies to treat cancer and inflammatory diseases and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. (BSE: 500124, NSE: DR REDDY, NYSE: RDY). Aurigene is focused on precision-oncology, oral immune checkpoint inhibitors, and the Th-17 pathway. Aurigene currently has several programs from its pipeline in clinical development. Aurigene’s oral PD-L1/ VISTA antagonist CA-170 is currently in phase 2 clinical development in India. Additionally, Aurigene has multiple compounds at different stages of pre-clinical development. Aurigene has partnered with many large and mid-pharma companies in the United States and Europe and has 15 programs currently in clinical development. For more information, please visit Aurigene’s website at https://www.aurigene.com/.
Founded in 1994, Exelixis, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXEL) is a commercially successful, oncology-focused biotechnology company that strives to accelerate the discovery, development, and commercialization of new medicines for difficult-to-treat cancers. Following early work in model system genetics, we established a broad drug discovery and development platform that has served as the foundation for our continued efforts to bring new cancer therapies to patients in need. Our discovery efforts have resulted in four commercially available products, CABOMETYX® (cabozantinib), COMETRIQ® (cabozantinib), COTELLIC® (cobimetinib) and MINNEBRO® (esaxerenone), and we have entered into partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies to bring these important medicines to patients worldwide. Supported by revenues from our marketed products and collaborations, we are committed to prudently reinvesting in our business to maximize the potential of our pipeline. We are supplementing our existing therapeutic assets with targeted business development activities and internal drug discovery — all to deliver the next generation of Exelixis medicines and help patients recover stronger and live longer. Exelixis is a member of the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) MidCap 400 index, which measures the performance of profitable mid-sized companies. For more information about Exelixis, please visit www.exelixis.com, follow @ExelixisInc on Twitter or like Exelixis, Inc. on Facebook.