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Roche licenses vemurafenib to Chugai

F Hoffmann-La Roche has given marketing and development rights of BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib to Chugai Pharmaceutical.

The licensing deal allows Roche to get milestone payments from Chugai Pharma.

Chugai Pharma intends to begin a Phase I clinical trial for BRAF mutation-positive metastatic melanoma in Japan in 2012.

Vemurafenib is being co-developed under a 2006 license and collaboration agreement between Roche and Plexxikon, a member of the Daiichi Sankyo Group.