Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals has entered into a global license agreement with Roche and its subsidiary, Genentech, for the development and commercialisation of an investigational fully human monoclonal antibody, vixarelimab.
Vixarelimab has been designed to target oncostatin M receptor beta (OSMRβ) that mediates the interleukin-31 (IL-31) and oncostatin M (OSM) signalling.
IL-31 and OSM are two important cytokines that are implicated in pruritus, inflammation, and fibrosis.
Under the deal terms, Kiniksa will receive upfront and near-term payments of $100m and is also eligible to receive about $600m in certain clinical, regulatory, and sales-based milestone payments.
Additionally, the company is eligible to receive royalties based on the annual net sales of the product.
As per the terms of the license agreement, Genentech will gain global rights to develop and commercialise vixarelimab.
The company will focus on developing vixarelimab in fibrosis, where OSM-mediated pathogenesis is believed to be a key pathway for intervention in multiple fibrotic indications.
Kiniksa has completed screening the participants for the Phase IIb clinical study of vixarelimab in prurigo nodularis.
Kiniksa chairman and CEO Sanj Patel said: “We are proud to have advanced vixarelimab from a preclinical-stage asset through Phase II clinical studies.
“Our work underscores the differentiated potential of the OSMRβ mechanism as well as its potential to help patients with serious unmet need.
“The agreement provides an optimal infrastructure for the further development of vixarelimab.
“We plan to allocate the non-dilutive capital received from this transaction towards synergistic opportunities across our portfolio, including the expansion of our ARCALYST cardiovascular franchise.”
The company stated that the deal is subject to certain closing conditions and other customary closing conditions.