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1 Mar 2022

Heidelberg Pharma and Huadong Medicine strike licensing and investment agreement

The multimillion-dollar deal focuses on potential targeted cancer treatments and makes Huadong the strategic partner in Asia for Heidelberg Pharma’s product development

In a deal worth up to USD 930 million (EUR 825 million), Heidelberg Pharma has granted China's Huadong Medicine Co. exclusive license to develop and commercialise its two lead oncology candidates HDP-101 and HDP-103 in Asia, as well as exclusive opt-in rights for two more pipeline candidates.

The licensing deal covers Heidlberg Pharma's proprietary lead candidate HDP-101 is a B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) antibody-targeted amanitin conjugate (ATAC) for multiple myeloma and its HDP-103, which is a PSMA ATAC for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Both are in clinical development.

ATACs, unlike standard therapeutics, are characterised by improved efficacy even on dormant tumour cells, which can contribute to tumour recurrence and resistance development.

The Germany-based biopharmaceutical company will receive an upfront payment of $20 million (€17.5 million) and milestone payments of up to $449 million (€400 million), and tiered royalties for each candidate.

The oncology specialist has also granted Huadong an exclusive option for the pre-IND research candidates HDP-102 (CD37-ATAC) for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and HDP-104 (undisclosed target) in Asia (excluding India, Japan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) with a total deal value of up to $461 million (€410 million).

In addition, the Chinese pharmaceutical company will also become the strategic partner in Asia for Heidelberg Pharma’s product development.

As part of the investment agreement Huadong intends to make an equity investment in Heidelberg Pharma totaling €105 million, representing 35% of total shares outstanding and therefore making it the second largest shareholder (dievini Hopp BioTech holding GmbH remains largest shareholder).

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