AstraZeneca bets big on Daiichi cancer deal

July 27, 2020

AstraZeneca will pay up to $6 billion to Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo in an oncology collaboration focused on developing and marketing a new type of targeted cancer treatment.

AstraZeneca will make staggered upfront payments totaling $1 billion to Daiichi for an experimental drug called DS-1062, which belongs to a promising class of therapies called antibody drug conjugates (ADC). AstraZeneca will pay additional conditional amounts of up to $1 billion for the successful achievement of regulatory approvals and up to $4 billion for sales-related milestones.

DS-1062 is currently in development for the treatment of multiple tumors that commonly express the cell-surface glycoprotein TROP2. Among them, TROP2 is overexpressed in the majority of non-small cell lung cancers and breast cancers — tumor types that have long been a strategic focus for AstraZeneca. Using Daiichi Sankyo’s proprietary DXd ADC technology, DS-1062 is designed to deliver chemotherapy selectively to cancer cells and to reduce systemic exposure.

This is the second multi-billion dollar oncology collaboration for the two drugmakers. Last April, the partners struck a deal to develop and commercial another ADC, targeting the HER2 protein seen in many breast cancers. It was approved by the US FDA in December, under the name Enhertu.

Read the recent press release