AstraZeneca Strikes $1.16 Billion Licensing Deal for Gastric Cancer Candidate

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AstraZeneca has entered into a global exclusive license agreement with KYM Biosciences for CMG901, which is being investigated as a gastric cancer treatment.

AstraZeneca announced a global exclusive license agreement deal with KYM Biosciences, a joint venture established by affiliates of Keymed Biosciences and Lepu Biopharma, on Feb. 23, 2023. The deal is centered around CMG901, an antibody drug conjugate (ADC) currently being evaluated as a potential treatment for gastric cancer.

CMG901 is a novel ADC targeting Claudin 18.2, consisting of an anti-Claudin 18.2 monoclonal antibody, a protease-degradable linker, and a cytotoxic small molecule monomethyl auristatin E. Under the agreement, AstraZeneca will pay KYM $63 million upfront for the rights to CMG901, with an additional $1.1 billion and low-double digit royalties contingent on various development and sales-based milestones. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2023.

According to a company press release, AstraZeneca will be responsible for the research, development, manufacture, and commercialization of CMG901. CMG901 is currently being investigated in a Phase I clinical trial as a treatment for cancers with tumors expressing Claudin 18.2, which includes gastric cancers; preliminary results demonstrate early signs of anti-tumor activity across the tested dose levels.


“We are excited by the opportunity to accelerate the development of CMG901, a potential new medicine for patients with Claudin 18.2-expressing cancer,” said Puja Sapra, senior vice-president, Biologics Engineering & Oncology Targeted Delivery, Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca, in the release. “CMG901 strengthens our growing pipeline of antibody drug conjugates and supports our ambition to expand treatment options and transform outcomes for patients with gastrointestinal cancers.”

Source: AstraZeneca