Polyphor awarded exclusive licensing agreement for China

The Basel Area-based company Polyphor has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Fosun Pharma in China. Fosun Pharma will lead clinical development and commercialization of balixafortide for the Chinese market with an initial focus on metastatic breast cancer.

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Polyphor and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group, a leading Chinese healthcare group that goes by the name Fosun Pharma, have entered into an exclusive licensing agreement in China for the clinical development and commercialization of balixafortide, which is used to treat metastatic breast cancer.

According to a press release, Polyphor will receive a USD 15 million upfront payment and is eligible for additional development milestone payments of up to USD 19 million and sales milestone payments of up to USD 148 million, as well as royalties on sales.

Polyphor, which is based in Allschwil in the canton of Basel-Landschaft, signed the agreement with Lucerne-based Fosun Pharmaceutical AG, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fosun Pharma. Fosun Pharmaceutical AG opened in Central Switzerland in 2017 with the help of the economic development agency Lucerne Business.

The two pharmaceutical companies will initially focus on breast cancer treatments. China is projected to be the second largest market globally for breast cancer treatments, according to the press release. The two companies will jointly evaluate additional cancer indications and combined therapies. Polyphor continues to retain all rights to balixafortide outside of China.

“Fosun Pharma’s proven expertise to develop and commercialize oncology treatments in China, as well as their research and development capabilities to expand into additional cancer indications, make them the ideal partner for us,” said Gokhan Batur, CEO of Polyphor.

Wu Yifang, President and CEO of Fosun Pharma, said: “The collaboration will enrich Fosun Pharma’s pipeline in the field of oncology and provide more treatment options for the unmet clinical needs of the market.”

Balixafortide is a potent and highly selective blocker of CXCR4 and is currently the only CXCR4 antagonist in Phase 3 development for a solid tumor.  CXCR4 is a receptor protein that is used by many stem and tumor cells.

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