AstraZeneca, Array BioPharma cancer deal results in lawsuit

Feb. 2, 2018

Colorado-based Array BioPharma has sued AstraZeneca, accusing the drugmaker of refusing to pay royalties for a cancer drug after entering into an $8.5 billion collaboration with Merck.

According to the complaint, Array is seeking at least $192 million from AstraZeneca following the alleged breach of a 2003 licensing agreement related to  Array's drug, selumetinib. Array said the agreement allowed AstraZeneca to use selumetinib in research to fight cancer, and provided for a 12-percent royalty on sums that AstraZeneca might receive from sub-licensees, such as Merck.

In the July 2017 collaboration, AstraZeneca and Merck agreed to independently develop and commercialize Merck’s Lynparza and AstraZeneca's potential medicine selumetinib in combinations with companies’ respective PD-L1/PD-1 immuno-oncology meds, Imfinzi and Keytruda.

Now, Array wants its royalties on AstraZeneca's expected $1.6 billion upfront payment from Merck. The $192 million sought represents 12 percent of that payment.

Read the Reuters coverage