This is the news that every Italian startup was waiting for: a big exit. Maybe the greatest exit in Italian startup ecosystem. €350 million. This is the amount that Clovis Oncology will pay to buy Ethical Oncology Science Spa (EOS), an Italy-based biopharmaceutical company founded by Silvano Spinelli at the aim to find another way to fight against cancer. He managed to reach his goal and Clovis found this goal extremely interesting.
Here is the press realease that explains what happened.
Clovis Oncology announced today that it has acquired Ethical Oncology Science S.p.A (EOS), a privately-held Italian biopharmaceutical companydeveloping a novel targeted therapy to treat cancer, founded by Silvano Spinelli, serial entrepreneur.
In 2012, EOS sublicensed lucitanib rights in Europe and the rest-of-world (ROW) markets, excluding China, to Les Laboratoires Servier (Servier). Clovis holds exclusive rights for lucitanib in the U.S. and Japan, and will collaborate with Servier on the global clinical development of lucitanib.
In an ongoing Phase I/IIa clinical study, lucitanib has demonstrated multiple objective responses in FGF-aberrant breast cancer patients, and objective responses have also been observed in patients with tumors often sensitive to angiogenesis inhibitors, such as renal cell and thyroid cancer. FGF-aberrations include amplification of the FGFR1 gene as well as amplification of a region of chromosome 11q that contains several FGF ligands, specifically FGF-3, -4 and -19.The initial development program for lucitanib will focus on the approximately 25 percent of women with breast cancer who have FGF-aberrant disease.
FGFs and VEGFs each play a role in tumor growth and angiogenesis and both are validated targets in oncology. Clovis believes lucitanib is unique in its pattern of clinical inhibition of both FGFR and VEGFR tyrosine kinases. As a result, lucitanib has potential to provide benefit to cancer patients by simultaneously targeting two relevant tumor growth pathways in selected patients identified by FGF aberrations. In particular, Clovis believes FGF-aberrant tumors are driven by both FGF and VEGF pathways, and that by inhibiting both, lucitanib can provide more meaningful benefit than single pathway inhibitors.
«We have been interested in lucitanib for some time and are pleased to have acquired EOS to add this program to our portfolio» said Patrick J. Mahaffy, Clovis Oncology’s president and CEO. «It is highly consistent with our focus on developing targeted therapies that provide meaningful benefit to specific patient populations. We are extremely encouraged with lucitanib’s 50 percent response rate seen to date in heavily pre-treated targeted patients and we intend to develop it aggressively, in collaboration with our partner Servier».
Lucitanib Clinical Development
The first clinical trial of lucitanib was initiated in Europe in July 2010 and is currently ongoing at Institut Gustave-Roussy in Paris with Professor Jean-Charles Soria and at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology in Barcelona with Professor Josep Tabernero. This trial is an open-label, dose-escalation, Phase I/IIa study to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), recommended Phase II dose, efficacy, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of lucitanib in adult patients with advanced solid tumors.
Doses evaluated in the study ranged from 5mg to 30mg given once per day. Twenty milligrams once per day was identified as the MTD. Overall, the toxicity profile observed to date is consistent with what was expected from preclinical studies and with VEGF inhibitors generally, with hypertension, proteinuria, asthenia and subclinical hypothyroidism being commonly observed. Other common treatment-related adverse events include gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
Subsequent to MTD identification, a dose expansion phase was initiated in defined populations expected to derive benefit from lucitanib, and initial data show encouraging activity in patients who were either FGF-aberrant or angiogenesis inhibitor-sensitive. Six of 12 evaluable FGF-aberrant breast cancer patients achieved RECIST partial responses and the median progression-free survival was 9.4 months in these 12 patients. These patients were heavily pre-treated, with at least three or as many as 14 prior treatment regimens. Importantly, two of the responders had previously failed to achieve a response with a selective FGFR inhibitor. Responses were also observed in other tumor types.
A broad Phase II program is being initiated to explore lucitanib in multiple indications including a U.S. study in patients with treatment-refractory FGF-aberrant breast cancer and a global study in patients with metastatic squamous NSCLC. In parallel with these planned Clovis-sponsored studies, a Servier-sponsored Phase II study of lucitanib monotherapy in patients with advanced breast cancer will begin enrolling this month. This ex-US study is expected to enroll approximately 120 patients and will seek to determine whether the activity of lucitanib is limited to a defined population of breast cancer tumors with FGF-aberrations or if a more broadly defined population may benefit as well.
If these Phase II monotherapy studies in breast cancer are successfully completed, Clovis and Servier intend to pursue future development of lucitanib as monotherapy and/or in combination with estrogen antagonists. Other potential indications that may be considered for development include squamous NSCLC, bladder, head and neck cancer, and other solid tumors with FGF-aberrancies.
Clinical development of lucitanib in patients with FGF-aberrant tumors will be accompanied by development of a diagnostic test designed to identify a selected patient population most likely to benefit.
Composition of matter patent protection for lucitanib and a group of structurally related compounds is issued in the United States and is pending in Japan. In the United States, the composition of matter patent will expire in 2030.
Under the terms of the deal, Clovis is acquiring EOS for an up-front payment of $200 million, which includes $190 million in Clovis common stock (3,713,731 shares) and $10 million in cash. Clovis will pay an additional $65 million in cash upon the initial approval of lucitanib by the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA). Pursuant to the license agreement with Servier, Clovis is entitled to receive up to €350 million (approximately $470 million) upon the achievement of development and commercial milestones, as well as royalties on sales of lucitanib in the Servier territories. Clovis will also pay the EOS shareholders up to an additional €115 million in cash (approximately $155 million) upon the receipt by Clovis of certain of the milestone payments pursuant to the Servier license agreement.
Clovis and Servier will collaborate on the development of lucitanib pursuant to a mutually-agreed upon global development plan. Servier is responsible for the initial €80 million (approximately $108 million) of costs under the global development plan and costs above €80 million will be shared equally between the companies.
Clovis intends to host an R&D Day and webcast for institutional investors and analysts to detail its clinical development programs for CO-1686, lucitanib and rucaparib next January in New York City.
Slide Presentation and Conference Call Details
Clovis will post a lucitanib slide presentation on the Company’s website at www.clovisoncology.com which can be accessed via the following link:http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=247187&p=irol-presentations. Clovis will also hold a conference call to discuss this announcement Wednesday morning, November 20, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. ET. The conference call and slide presentation will be simultaneously webcast on the Company’s web site and archived for future review. Dial-in numbers for the conference call are as follows: US participants 877 703 6110, International participants 857 244 7309, passcode: 12815948.
About Clovis Oncology
Clovis Oncology, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing innovative anti-cancer agents in the U.S., Europe and additional international markets. Clovis Oncology targets development programs at specific subsets of cancer populations, and simultaneously develops diagnostic tools that direct a compound in development to the population that is most likely to benefit from its use. Clovis Oncology is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, and has additional offices in San Francisco, California and Cambridge, UK.
Servier is a privately-run French research-based pharmaceutical company. Current therapeutic domains for Servier medicines are cardiovascular, metabolic, neurological, psychiatric and bone and joint diseases, as well as oncology. Servier is established in 140 countries worldwide with over 20,000 employees and a 2012 turnover of €3.9 billion. Servier invests 25% of its turnover in R&D. More information is available at: www.servier.com
To the extent that statements contained in this press release are not descriptions of historical facts regarding Clovis Oncology, they are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause our clinical development programs, future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainties inherent in our clinical development programs, including the uncertainties inherent in the initiation of future clinical trials, availability of data from ongoing clinical trials, expectations for regulatory approvals, and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of the drug product candidates because the relate to events, competitive dynamics, and industry change and depend on economic circumstances that may or may not occur in the future or may occur on longer or shorter timelines than anticipated. Clovis Oncology does not undertake to update or revise any forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of the company in general, see Clovis Oncology’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012 and its other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.