AstraZeneca Ups Gastric Cancer Effort, Enters License Agreement With KYM Biosciences For CMG901

AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.L), a global biopharmaceutical company and KYM Biosciences Inc. have entered into a global exclusive licence agreement whereby AstraZeneca would be responsible for the research, development, manufacture and commercialization of CMG901 globally.

AstraZeneca would make an upfront payment of $63 million on transaction closing and additional development and sales-related milestone payments of up to $1.1 billion to KYM Biosciences as well as tiered royalties up to low double digits.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2023 and is not expected to impact AstraZeneca's financial guidance for 2023.

AstraZeneca has a broad development programme for the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers across several medicines and a variety of tumour types and stages of disease. In 2020, gastrointestinal cancers collectively represented approximately 5.1 million new cancer cases leading to approximately 3.6 million deaths.

CMG901 is owned by KYM Biosciences Inc. (KYM), a joint venture established by affiliates of Keymed Biosciences (70% of KYM ownership) and Lepu Biopharma (30% of KYM ownership).

CMG901 is a potential first-in-class antibody drug conjugate (ADC) targeting Claudin 18.2, a promising therapeutic target in gastric cancer. It is currently being evaluated in a Phase I clinical trial for the treatment of Claudin 18.2-positive solid tumours, including gastric cancer. Preliminary results from the trial have shown early signs of anti-tumour activity across the dose levels tested.

Shares of AstraZeneca closed Wednesday's trading at $68.85, down $0.74 or 1.06 percent from the previous close.

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