Pfizer agreed to invest $200 million for a 9.9% stake in CStone Pharmaceuticals as part of a broader collaboration to develop oncology therapies in China, the companies announced. Under the deal, Pfizer will gain a license to CStone's experimental PD-L1 antibody sugemalimab in China, with the latter eligible to receive up to $280 million in milestone payments, as well as additional royalties.
Pierre Gaudreault, acting president of Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals in China, noted that the agreement builds on the drugmaker's prior work in the country "by helping to develop a potential best-in-class PD-L1 treatment that we can commercialise upon approval." Sugemalimab, also known as CS1001, is being developed for high-incidence cancer indications in China, including Phase III studies in stage III/IV non-small-cell lung cancer, gastric cancer oesophageal cancer.
Under the agreed terms, Pfizer obtains exclusive commercialisation rights to sugemalimab in mainland China, while CStone will continue to lead clinical development and the regulatory strategy for five selected indications. Meanwhile, the companies will together select late-stage oncology assets for co-development in the Chinese market, with the compounds coming from either Pfizer's pipeline or through joint in-licensing.
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