BeiGene regains rights for cancer drug after Novartis deal termination

Sept 19 (Reuters) – Beigene (6160.HK) said on Tuesday it would regain rights to develop and sell its cancer drug globally from Swiss drugmaker Novartis (NOVN.S) after the companies mutually decided to end their licensing deal.

Beigene will get back full global rights to the drug, tislelizumab, or Tevimbra, with no royalty payments due to Novartis.

The partners were co-developing the drug under an agreement signed in 2021.

The drug, an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody, helps the body’s immune system to detect and attack tumors, much like Keytruda from Merck (MRK.N) Opdivo from Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY.N).

Novartis will continue to manufacture the drug for many markets worldwide and explore its potential in combination with the Swiss drugmaker’s oncology assets, Beigene said.

Beigene will continue to supply the drug to Novartis for its ongoing clinical studies.

Separately, the Hong-Kong listed drugmaker also announced that the European Commission had approved the drug as a monotherapy for treating patients with a type of esophageal cancer who have previously received chemotherapy.

Tislelizumab is also under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a first-line treatment for patients with a type of esophageal cancer.

The U.S. health regulator is due to make its decision in the second half of next year.

It is approved as a treatment for 11 conditions in China including lymphoma and bladder cancer.

Reporting by Sriparna Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar and Sriraj Kalluvila

Source: Reuters