Mundipharma buys bile duct cancer candidate from CellAct

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Mundipharma has bought the global rights to CAP7.1, a novel prodrug of the chemotherapeutic etoposide.

The Cambridge-based pharma company acquired the rights from German oncology specialist CellAct Pharma in a deal worth up to $250 million. The deal reportedly includes a ‘double-digit (million dollar)’ upfront payment.

The candidate will be investigated as a treatment for biliary tract cancer, a disease estimated to cause 140,000 deaths each year.

The treatment will be progressed through Phase III trials by EDO, a member of the Mundipharma network based in Switzerland which is focused on developing early stage assets in oncology.

In Phase II studies CAP7.1 showed positive efficacy in this therapeutic area, with 56% of patients meeting the primary objective of disease control, including tumour shrinkages.

Charité – Universitätsmedizin, a research hospital in Berlin which discovered the drug, will also receive sales-related income through tiered royalties and milestone payments.

EDO chief executive Thomas Mehrling said: “By working with a network of experienced clinical partners, EDO enables efficient drug development and we believe this will be of benefit to accelerate the development a potentially life-changing treatment in this area of great unmet patient need.”