Kazia Therapeutics signs global agreement for lead candidate

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Emerging Australia oncology-focused biotechnology company Kazia Therapeutics (ASX:KZA) has announced a license agreement for its lead pipeline candidate Cantrixil (TRX-E-002-1).

Under the exclusive worldwide license agreement with Swedish company Oasmia Pharmaceutical AB, Kazia will receive an upfront payment of US$4 million with contingent milestone payments of up to US$42 million and double-digit royalties on commercial sales.

Cantrixil Cantrixil is a formulation of the potent and selective third-generation benzopyran, TRX-E-002-1. It targets the entire spectrum of cancer cells, including chemotherapy-resistant tumour-initiating cells that are thought to be responsible for disease relapse. 

In December last year, Kazia announced top-line results of a phase one open-label study (NCT02903771) covering both monotherapy and combination therapy in patients with persistent or recurrent ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer. The company said the study met its primary endpoints.

Oasmia, which expects to commence a phase two study of Cantrixil in ovarian cancer in 2022, is a specialty pharmaceutical company. Its lead product, Apealea (paclitaxel micellar), is approved in Europe for adult patients with first relapse of platinum-sensitive epithelial ovarian cancer, primary peritoneal cancer, and fallopian tube cancer, and is in late-stage clinical development in the US.

Kazia CEO, Dr James Garner, said, “Oasmia possesses deep expertise in the field of ovarian cancer, and also brings to Cantrixil a highly commercial focus, world-class formulation capabilities, and an extensive network of clinician relationships in Europe and the US.

"This transaction follows the release of very encouraging top-line data from the phase I study of Cantrixil late last year. Our strategy has been to seek a partner for Cantrixil’s further development, and we are delighted to now pass the baton to the Oasmia team.”

Dr François Martelet, CEO of Oasmia, added, “Cantrixil is an exciting addition to Oasmia’s oncology pipeline and builds on our development expertise in ovarian cancer. Expanding Oasmia’s portfolio of therapies and technologies is a key pillar of our transformation strategy. Acquiring rights to Cantrixil, which has established clinical proof of concept, is a major step forward in executing this strategy, and we will continue to leverage our development and partnering expertise to build our oncology pipeline.”