NEW YORK – Oric Pharmaceuticals said on Monday that it has paid $13 million upfront to Korean drug discovery firm Voronoi for exclusive rights to ORIC-114, a brain penetrant EGFR and HER2 exon 20 inhibitor.
California-based Oric paid Voronoi $5 million in cash and $8 million in stock to secure the license. If the drug meets development, regulatory, and sales milestones, Oric will pay Voronoi up to a further $336 million. Under the terms of the deal, Oric has exclusive rights to develop and commercialize ORIC-114 worldwide, excluding China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
Oric will begin a global Phase I/II tumor-agnostic trial of ORIC-114 in genetically defined cancers during the second half of 2021. Although EGFR or HER2 exon 20 insertion mutations occur in multiple solid tumors, including non-small cell lung, breast, gastrointestinal, bladder, and other cancers, there are currently no approved drugs against this subset of tumors.
In preclinical studies, the investigational drug has shown greater brain exposure compared to other compounds being developed against exon 20 mutations and has demonstrated anti-tumor activity in an EGFR-driven intracranial lung cancer model.
"ORIC-114 is well aligned with our mission of overcoming cancer resistance by leveraging our expertise in precision oncology and key tumor dependencies, and it puts us in position for three [investigational new drug applications] or equivalents next year," Oric CEO Jacob Chacko said in a statement. "ORIC-114 fits with our team's success in developing therapies for tumor-agnostic mutations, including in patients with brain metastases, and [we] will leverage our team's prior experience in the pioneering development of entrectinib for genetically defined cancers."