Glenmark Pharma buy rights to cancer drug from US firm

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said it entered into a licensing agreement with Boston-based biopharmaceutical company APC Therapeutics Inc for exclusive rights for a cancer drug.

The agreement covers a small molecule based on Antigen Presenting Cell (APC) biology, the Indian company said.

“The compound has the potential to be used as a monotherapy or in combination with approved therapies to address unmet needs in cancer treatment,” it said.

“This asset adds to our robust biologics pipeline of targeted IO therapies,” said Kurt Stoeckli, President and Chief Scientific Officer at Glenmark Pharmaceuticals.

“The mechanism of action of APC biology is very intriguing and has the potential to be transformative in cancer treatment by triggering powerful immunologic responses to tumors that may lead to deeper and more durable responses to treatment.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Glenmark will license the product from APC Therapeutics, and manage all clinical development including regulatory filings and commercialization worldwide.

APC Therapeutics will receive development milestones and sales royalty payments.

“Glenmark is an ideal partner to advance such an important scientific breakthrough treatment to patients with cancer,” said Vinod Patel and Venkateshwar Reddy, the co-founders of APC Therapeutics.

“This partnership is strategically significant for APC Therapeutics as it validates and advances our commitment to bring the right immunotherapies to the right patient populations.”

The global oncology market is growing exponentially and projected to exceed $150 billion by 2020, according to figures from IMS Health.

“Driving this growth is the transition from short-term cytotoxic treatments towards precision medicines, most notably IO agents providing substantial increase in longterm survival. Because of these improvements, IO (immuno-oncology) is one of the most promising and fastest growing areas of cancer treatment and research,” the company said.

Glenmark focuses primarily on areas such as oncology, respiratory and dermatology. The company’s immuno-oncology pipeline currently includes four candidates being studied in a wide-range of tumor types, it added.