NEW YORK – Tasly Biopharmaceuticals has garnered exclusive rights from Sutro Biopharma to develop and commercialize STRO-002 in Greater China, the two firms announced on Monday.
Under the terms of the deal, Tasly Biopharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Shanghai-based Tasly Pharmaceutical Group, will pay Sutro $40 million upfront. Sutro is also eligible for up to $345 million in development and commercial milestone payments. If commercialized, Sutro will receive tiered, double-digit royalties based on annual net sales of STRO-002 in Greater China.
STRO-002 is a folate receptor alpha (FolRα)-targeting antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), which Sutro is currently studying in a Phase I trial for patients with ovarian and endometrial cancers. In the trial, the South San Francisco, California-based firm is also exploring the role of FolRα expression on patients' ability to respond to the drug. The US Food and Drug Administration has granted the drug fast track designation as a treatment for ovarian cancer.
The exclusive license gives Tasly rights to develop, seek regulatory approval for, and commercialize STRO-002 in Greater China for ovarian and endometrial cancers. The deal also gives Tasly the opportunity to advance the treatment in other tumor types, such as non-small cell lung and triple-negative breast cancers. Sutro will be responsible for the clinical trial and for supplying the drug for studies conducted in the licensed region.
"We are delighted to gain access to this promising drug, which has the potential to be the best-in-class FolRα ADC for patients with debilitating cancers, including ovarian cancer and potentially FolRα-expressing cancers," Kaijing Yan, Tasly's chairman of the board, said in a statement. "There is a huge unmet need for oncology patients within Greater China and we look towards future development and commercialization of STRO-002 to serve these needs."
Sutro retains rights to develop and commercialize the drug outside of Greater China.