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Octimet Oncology Licenses MET Inhibitor to Allist Pharma for Development in China

NEW YORK – Belgian drug developer Octimet Oncology said on Wednesday that it has exclusively licensed its lead clinical compound OMO-1 and another, unidentified preclinical-stage drug to Shanghai-based Allist Pharmaceuticals.

OMO-1, a selective MET kinase inhibitor, has demonstrated preliminary activity and safety as a single agent and in combination with an EGFR inhibitor in cancer patients with MET alterations in Europe. When MET is amplified in non-small cell lung cancers, it drives resistance to EGFR inhibitors.

Under the latest licensing agreement, Allist will develop OMO-1 in China, focusing on studying it in combination with its third-generation EGFR inhibitor furmonertinib, which targets both sensitizing EGFR mutations and the EGFR T790M resistance mutation. In a Phase IIb study of EGFR T790M-positive advanced NSCLC, the drug had an objective response rate of 74 percent and a disease control rate of 94 percent. The drug is now being studied in a Phase III trial against gefitinib (AstraZeneca's Iressa) as a first-line treatment in EGFR-mutated locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC.

In a statement, Octimet said that China is an "ideal" region to further explore the safety and efficacy of OMO-1 in combination with an EGFR inhibitor since more than 38 percent of NSCLC patients in the country harbor EGFR mutations in their tumors.

"Development in China is strategically important for OMO-1 and we look forward to seeing the results of the combination studies with Allist's EGFR TKI compound, thereby making a difference for cancer patients in need of efficacious targeted therapies," Octimet CEO Shelley Margetson said in a statement.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.