Takeda to license Hutchmed cancer drug

Jan. 24, 2023

Japan-based Takeda announced this week that it will be entering an exclusive licensing agreement with Hutchmed and its subsidiaries for the development and commercialization of the Hong Kong-based biotech's colorectal cancer drug outside of China.

Under the terms of the potential $1.13 billion agreement, Takeda will hand over $400 million upfront and up to $730 million in additional regulatory, development and commercial sales milestones for the ex-China rights to Hutchmed's vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) inhibitor, fruquintinib.

Fruquintinib is a highly selective and potent inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor receptors -1, 2 and 3 that is orally administered and used for several subtypes of refractory metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). CRC affects roughly 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women, and approximately 22% of cases are metastatic at their initial diagnosis. 

The drug has positive results from a phase 3 multi-regional clinical trial that met its primary endpoint of improving overall survival  in patients with metastatic CRC and tolerability. Currently, it has Fast Track designation from the FDA and Hutchmed began a rolling submission of a New Drug Application in December of 2022.